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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2499..


MR WHITECROSS (continuing):

Madam Deputy Speaker, we were told repeatedly and enthusiastically by the Chief Minister that this budget that she has brought down is a three-year budget. While the Chief Minister has a lot of faults, including an undying commitment to that well-known propaganda technique which we are all familiar with, one thing you could not fault the Chief Minister for is her enthusiasm. She told us that this is a three-year budget. It is interesting to observe in relation to this three-year budget that the increases in the appropriations projected for the future years are less than 2 per cent, which is less than the 3 per cent projected by Mrs Carnell's budget papers as the amount necessary to break even on costs. We can only assume that this means a real cut in future years in the Maintenance of Law and Order budget for the Government, because the money has not been increased in line with what you would expect if they were, indeed, committed to maintaining it. Nor have they made provision for the million dollars which Mr Humphries has in his back pocket any time Commissioner Palmer gets around to asking for it. I am sure that one day Commissioner Palmer will ask. We can all be confident that one day he will ask, especially now that he knows, and be confident that the Liberal Party will stick to this promise, unlike their promises to Mr Osborne.

MR CONNOLLY (1.02 am): Madam Deputy Speaker, I have a final contribution on this. I want to refer to Mr Osborne's cynicism about politicians who promise on law and order and do not deliver. At the last election, the 1992 election, Labor promised to deliver, in the area of law and order infrastructure and capital works, a police headquarters complex, a substantial upgrade of Civic, and a magistrates court building. The headquarters complex is there. It is the pride of the Australian Federal Police. The Civic Police Station is finished. Gary had to pay for the desks and the chairs, but we built it. The magistrates court building is up and running. When we promise this infrastructure, we deliver.

MR OSBORNE (1.03 am): It would be remiss of me not to congratulate the Government, after the day they have had, in relation to the safety house program. I approached Mr Humphries earlier in the year and asked him for some help in relation to some more staff, and he did provide it. I am pleased to say that the safety house program, although not as operational as I would have liked, is up and running, and for that I thank him. I hope that all members in here would embrace that concept. It is really just a matter of teaching our kids and giving them a safe haven. I do thank the Government for their help in relation to providing the extra police that were needed, although the budget certainly was not amended for it; it was just a swap. It was vitally needed, so I do thank you, Mr Humphries, for that.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Planning Authority

Proposed expenditure - Division 150 - Planning Authority, $6,158,700

MR WOOD (1.05 am): Planning in the ACT has always been a highly contentious issue. On the other hand, funding for the Planning Authority has not been contentious at all. Perhaps it should have been. I know that in my period as Minister there were no increased funds for the Planning Authority and they suffered the same sorts of constraints that every other agency of government faced. We did squeeze out little bits and pieces


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