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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2569..


MR WOOD

: I recall that I said that the new agreement does not include the continuation of GST funding from the Commonwealth, and we are not continuing to receive the GST funding. That is what I have said. I do not know where someone finds the difficulty in me saying, "What is the case?"It is as simple as that.

MRS BURKE

: If you were so reluctant to sign up to the new agreement, as you assert in your media release, why have you now agreed to sign? Why didn't you hold out, like other states, and try to negotiate a better deal for the ACT?

Is this performance simply a reflection of your own incapacity to fight for a better slice of the budget cake within your own cabinet? Or is the reality that this is a good deal for the ACT? If so, why don't you say so, accept this jurisdiction's housing responsibility and be positive about it?

MR WOOD

: I am well aware of what my state colleagues have been saying about the agreement. Over at least two meetings of ministers, we have agued that point. Senator Vanstone is a strong senator and states her case firmly. States realised-I along with them-that we were not going to get any further, so we signed on. Much the same applies to the disability agreement we will be signing on to shortly. Again, we are not going to get the funds we believe we need and that the Commonwealth has an obligation to give-but we will be signing on. When you go as far as you can go, that is the story of it.

MR SPEAKER

: Before we go to your question, Mr Stefaniak, I note that Mr Corbell won't be here. Who will be taking questions for him?

Mr Stanhope

: I beg your pardon, Mr Speaker. I should have indicated earlier that I will take questions for Mr Corbell. We advised other members of the Assembly this morning that Mr Corbell would be absent, at a funeral, this afternoon.

Prison-funding

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister, in his capacity as minister for corrections. Chief Minister, this morning, on radio 2CC, you said the following, in relation to your sudden enthusiasm for building a prison:

I don't recall ever saying that the prospect of the ACT being put off or deterred from developing a prison was related to the cost of the facility.

However, on 27 February this year, you issued a media release which read:

The simple fact is that we will enter this budget with a shortfall of at least $55 million. Faced with a deficit of this magnitude, it is safe to say that the government will not be building a full scale, $110 million prison, in the next few years.

Why did you mislead the people of Canberra on 2CC this morning, when you said that you did not recall saying anything about being put off about a prison in terms of cost?


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