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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 June 1995) . . Page.. 995 ..


MRS CARNELL: Not only were the comments of Ms Follett with regard to deficits incorrect, Mr Speaker, but also Ms Follett's view that her Government's term of office was somehow a success from a budgetary perspective was right off the mark. In fact, by any objective test of good government, the Follett Labor Government was a failure. I think you have to look at some of the evidence here. Let us look at some of the performance indicators over the life of the Government. Prices in the ACT increased faster than prices in the rest of Australia - 6.6 per cent in the ACT and 5.6 per cent nationally. Let us look at taxes. The increases were 135 per cent for land tax, 35 per cent for residential rates, 46 per cent for traffic fines, 51 per cent for petrol tax revenue, 53 per cent for revenue from motor vehicles, and I could go on and on.

Let us look at job opportunities. The ACT lagged a long way behind the rest of Australia. Over the life of the previous Government, job vacancies in the ACT increased by only 33 per cent.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I know that Ministers want to answer questions in any way they like, but oppositions like to get answers. We would like a little bit of relevance, in particular in relation to balanced budgets.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Continue, Chief Minister.

MRS CARNELL: By contrast, job opportunities increased by 167 per cent in the rest of Australia. The long-term unemployed in the ACT increased from 1,500 to 3,400 over that period of time. In fact, in the final year of the Follett Government, the number of long-term jobless in the ACT increased by 13 per cent while the rest of Australia saw a decrease of 5.4 per cent. Youth unemployment increased substantially. In fact, the trend of youth unemployment in the ACT was more than five times the national average. That was an increase of 16 per cent in the ACT and an increase of only 3 per cent for the rest of Australia. Private sector labour costs, in terms of average labour costs per employee, blew out to the highest in Australia. The list goes on.

Mr Speaker, as for the claim about balanced budgets, the facts are that Labor did not deliver even one balanced budget. The former Treasurer should have known that it is grossly misleading to try to create an artificial separation between capital and recurrent spending for the purposes of reporting a budget.

Ms Follett: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: If Mrs Carnell wants to accuse me of misleading, then she has to proceed on a substantive motion.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I think the words that I heard were that the Leader of the Opposition, Ms Follett, “should know that it is grossly misleading”. I do not know that she was saying that you were grossly misleading.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am happy to say that the former Treasurer would know that it is grossly misleading to the community to try to create an artificial separation between capital and recurrent spending for the purposes of reporting a budget. The money has to be found, no matter what it is used for, and the economic impact of taxing or borrowing to fund capital or recurrent expenditure is the same. That is why


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