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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2503..


MR BERRY (continuing):

her way into the health system in Canada. She then toured the world to promote the Chilean cause-the democratic cause. She had been tortured, smothered with petrol, burnt and left for dead on the side of the road. One cannot help being moved by such a story, but I wish now that I had never mentioned it.

The refugee issue is a tough one for us to deal with in a community sense. In the end politicians must provide leadership and generate quality ideas for the people whom they represent. That is the aim of this motion. I welcome members' support for my motion and, in particular, the Chief Minister's comments in relation to it. It is well understood that a range of services is provided for refugees in the territory. I also acknowledge that the Chief Minister and the government are committed to reviewing the services that are provided. I am sure that as this process continues and as gaps are found there will be some attempt to address them. I know that all members will keep open a weather eye for issues that affect refugees to this part of Australia.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

General government sector operating results 2002-03-estimated outcome

MR SMYTH

(Leader of the Opposition) (5.09): I move:

That this Assembly directs the Treasurer to provide the Assembly with a formal update on the Estimated Outcome for the General Government Sector Operating Result for the 2002-03 financial year by close of business 25 June 2003.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it's a little bit galling that we're sitting here when those of us that were in the chamber and saw a document accidentally being tabled know that the thing that I request is probably sitting in the tabling office as we speak. I think it's important that we ask for these updates because, if the information I've been hearing for some time now is true, then the estimate that the Treasurer put before the house on 6 May is something like 100 to 150 per cent out already, the day after we passed the budget. What this government has done is ask members of the Assembly to pass a document without the full picture. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, that is an unfortunate trend of this government.

Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, it could be a little bit out. You can accept it being 5 or 10 per cent or maybe even 20 per cent out on the vagaries of things that might happen. But to probably be 100 to 150 per cent out, I think, is unacceptable. The current government went to the last election on the basis that they could control the accounts and that we should trust the Treasurer because he is an accountant. I think that reputation will be in tatters when we get these numbers, because the day after the budget was passed it is already shown to be a flawed document.

What did the Treasurer tell us when he came down to pass the budget? "I'm delighted to announce the budget remains at surplus over the economic cycle."We've had the economic cycle debate, and the Treasurer's lost that one. "Labor will achieve an aggregate surplus of $66 million over the four-year time frame."


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