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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 22 June 1995) . . Page.. 1138 ..


SUPPLY LEGISLATION

MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (5.30): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave to move a motion relating to the Supply Bill 1995-96.

Leave granted.

MS FOLLETT: I move:

That the Treasurer provide to all Members within four weeks a breakdown of allocations within the Supply Bill 1995-96 at program level; further, that no transfers of funds occur between programs during the supply period without Members of the Assembly being advised.

Mr Speaker, there are two main reasons why I seek to move this motion. The first of them is that the Supply Bill which we are debating has been changed so very radically from the supply Bills that we have previously debated in the Assembly. As I made very clear yesterday, I regard the radical change as very undesirable. In putting forward what amount to one-line appropriations under very broad-brush headings, the Treasurer has not given the Assembly the opportunity to properly scrutinise the Supply Bill. As we are talking about an amount of $658m, I believe that that is worthy of proper scrutiny.

I am also putting forward the motion, Mr Speaker, because of the great contradictions that we have heard so far in the debate on the Supply Bill. One of the contradictions that troubled me was whether the Supply Bill actually represented existing policy - that is, last year's budget - or whether it had been changed in some way to reflect the policy of the current Government. I have reviewed the Hansard relating to that matter and I am no clearer on the subject. I am sure that most members would know that supply traditionally reflects current policy. There is no new policy contained in it. Hence I had expected supply to accurately reflect the appropriations that were made by this Assembly in the budget last year. That is not the case. We have been presented with some conflicting information about what has actually occurred.

The other contradictions that trouble me, Mr Speaker, are related to what is in the Supply Bill, the actual amounts being appropriated. We have heard that, on the one hand, the Supply Bill is based on last year's budget. In that case there is no earthly reason, none whatsoever, why the Supply Bill should not have been presented at program level. Last year's budget was. Therefore, items such as government schooling and private schooling should have been separated out in the Supply Bill. But we have been told that to make such a separation to program level could not be done in the time available. Mr Speaker, since that time Mrs Carnell's office has supplied me with a document which I have not had time to scrutinise properly. That may well be the information to program level that I have asked for; but, as far as I can see, it is not on a basis that is comparable with what occurred in the budget last year.


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