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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2471..


MR WHITECROSS (continuing):

making a one-off 15 per cent cut to the library budget. She said that, because the Estimates Committee last year had something to say about across-the-board efficiency dividends and the Labor Government did not think you should have to spell out how you were making across-the-board efficiency savings in individual portfolios, that is comparable to cutting 15 per cent out of the library budget. The comparison is not there. The Government has made a deliberate policy decision to make a substantial cut in the library budget without being able to explain how that cut is to be made. That is nothing at all like applying an efficiency dividend, and for Mrs Carnell to try to make that comparison shows her inability to grasp what I would have thought was a relatively simple concept.

The other fascinating thing Mrs Carnell did, assisted by Mr De Domenico, was to do a Goebbels on the size of the library cut.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I think reference to Goebbels in this way is fairly offensive.

Mr Berry: It would not be for you. It would not offend you.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, that is rather compounding the error.

MR SPEAKER: Reference to whom, Mr Humphries?

Mr Humphries: I think "to do a Goebbels" is a fairly offensive term. If members opposite wish to use it they lower the tone of the house, but that is entirely up to them.

MR SPEAKER: I would rule that that is offensive. I suggest that you withdraw it, Mr Whitecross.

Mr Connolly: Mr Speaker, I am halfway through reading the Bullock history of Stalin and Hitler, and Stalin is directly attributed with the deaths of upwards of 20 million Russians and others. Yet "You are a Stalinist" is the daily banter from the Liberals. One would have to wonder why you find such objection to "doing a Goebbels", which is a well-understood phrase for a propaganda technique and the technique of the repeated fallacy.

MR SPEAKER: As far as I am aware, Stalinist is a name given generally. Your reference to Goebbels, I think, was to an individual, was it not, Mr Whitecross?

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, I was, of course, referring to the big lie technique, where you tell a lie and you keep repeating the lie in the hope that people will believe that it is true. In deference to you, I will withdraw.

MR SPEAKER: All right. If you like to put it that way, that is all right. At least then you can spell it out.

MR WHITECROSS: To get back to the point I was making, various members of the Government repeatedly say, "We are cutting the libraries by only $150,000, from $6.3m to $6.1m"; but the open, accountable Carnell Government has produced highly detailed and very informative budget papers which tell us that the library service is going


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