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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 June 1995) . . Page.. 1085 ..

Mrs Carnell, since your own Supply Bill, which we are debating later today, still maintains what you have referred to as an artificial separation between capital and recurrent items, and in fact all six budgets, including your colleague Mr Kaine's, have also detailed expenditure under capital and recurrent, I can only assume that you were referring to your forthcoming 1995-96 budget as not maintaining that separation. Will you confirm that the 1995-96 budget will no longer distinguish between capital and recurrent expenditure?

MRS CARNELL: The 1995-96 budget will distinguish between the two. The point I was making was that what we will not be doing is budgeting as the previous Treasurer budgeted, and that is attempting to artificially bring a budget in supposedly on track by moving money between the capital budget and the recurrent budget. That is what Ms Follett did every single time. Later on today I will be tabling information on transfers made under subsection 49(1) of the Audit Act. We see this happening regularly in ACT budgets. We will be attempting to make sure, wherever possible, that this is not used to artificially make recurrent budgets look all right.

MS FOLLETT: I have a supplementary question. Mr Speaker, if Mrs Carnell checks what has occurred in previous budgets she will see that recurrent surpluses have funded capital budgets, not the other way round. I think she has that completely back to front. Does Mrs Carnell therefore concede that she has, in fact, misled the Assembly by saying that budgets these days no longer make this separation, when she has just informed us that her own budget will make such a separation?

MRS CARNELL: It is true that budgets in the private sector rarely make these sorts of distinctions any more, simply because bottom lines are bottom lines. You have a certain amount of money to spend and that is all. The fact is that we will be budgeting on a recurrent and capital basis because that is the way it has been done in the past; but what we will not be doing is artificially moving money around basically to fudge the budget.

Retail Space - Manuka

MR WOOD: My question is to Mr Humphries in his capacity as Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning and relates to the call for expressions of interest for that car park site in Manuka. I think Mr Humphries would know that, not surprisingly, it has evoked quite a deal of interest in the community and in this Assembly. Mr Humphries, understanding how essential it is for all tenderers to have an equal opportunity, are you satisfied that the requirements specified in the document are sufficient to ensure, to use that overworked term, a level playing field? Specifically, should the document have been more precise, and why does not the document spell out just what the Government wants to happen on that site and/or adjacent to it?

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