Page 284 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 20 February 1990

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MR KAINE: Yes; I do not mind giving the Leader of the Opposition an elementary lesson in budgeting in the slightest, Mr Speaker. There is only one principle of zero-based budgeting, and that is that in any given year a bid for any item of expenditure in the budget stands alone and it does not happen simply because it was there last year. I would go on and say that if the Leader of the Opposition had read our policy carefully, she would have noted that we had said that we would use the zero-based principle, not that we would use zero-based budgeting. It is a different concept altogether. If the Leader of the Opposition is going to start throwing rocks at me because we are moving into zero-based budgeting, her attack will be ill-founded.

MS FOLLETT: I ask a supplementary question. How does the zero-based principle relate to your Government's policy of introducing a five-year rolling financial plan from which annual budgets will be derived?

MR KAINE: Very simply. If we adopt a program, then that program will be extrapolated for at least five years in our budget. It may be that it will only go for one year, it may go for two or three years, it may go for five years and it may ultimately go beyond the five years, but it signifies an intention of the Government and is in no way inconsistent with the principles of zero-based budgeting.

Planning Leases

MR MOORE: My question is to the Chief Minister as Minister for Planning, and I refer to the Canberra Times this morning. Considering the current occupancy rate of hotels in the ACT - with particular reference to Philip Hobbs' article in the Canberra Times today - if block 2, section 52 is re-offered for auction, will the Chief Minister, as Minister for Planning, reassess the need for the site to be made available as a hotel. Will he consider other options, such as serviced apartments, and will he tell the Assembly when the decision to terminate the lease was or will be made?

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, this Government has made no decision whatsoever in connection with block 2 of section 52. What is happening there is the result of decisions taken by earlier Governments and the process is simply continuing. There is some difficulty as the lessee has been seeking a change to the original arrangements under which the lease was granted. As I understand it, that change is in the nature of moving away from the idea of a hotel, either in full or in part, and replacing part of that project with office accommodation. The requests of the lessee are currently being considered by the ACT Administration. When the officers have come to a conclusion about what course of action is appropriate, they will come to me with a recommendation which I will consider. If necessary, it will be considered by the Cabinet; then we will make a

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