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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3269..


MR SPEAKER: I think you should withdraw that.

MR QUINLAN: Which bit, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: The reflection on Mr Smyth's integrity.

MR QUINLAN: I withdraw the reflection on Mr Smyth's integrity, but I will try to make the point that I wish to make that, really, this place does have and ought to have standards. I am concerned that standards are falling and they are falling at a time, as I said, when we have episodes of this oozing self-righteousness and this dripping indignation that come from the other side of the house and when there seems to be a lowering of standard, particularly in the nature of press releases and in the quoting of individuals in this place.

Mr Speaker, I am very happy to advise the house that Appropriation Bill (No 3) 2002-2003 does have the auditor's all-clear, and I do that in the knowledge that if I didn't advise the house no-one would.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. I thank the Treasurer for that clear explanation, but just one thing remains. Can the Treasurer please assure the Assembly, and in particular Mr Smyth, that there is a difference between a budget and an appropriation bill?

MR QUINLAN: Yes, I think we are getting there, slowly, over time. During this financial year no doubt there will be need for additional appropriation of some sort or another because not everything in the budget is appropriated immediately. If we can actually get a grasp of the difference between the original budget and the appropriation then we might have a little bit more mature approach to the debate.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Tree preservation in Belconnen

Debate resumed.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (3.21): Mr Speaker, I seek an extension of time.

(Extension of time granted.)

This motion focuses on the appropriateness of undertaking a land swap for a section of land in Belconnen. In particular, the proposition of those members supporting the motion is that, if the government were to swap the land, the trees on the site would be saved. The point I was making prior to lunch was that, even if the land were to revert to territory ownership, the government would still have to address the question of the future of a number of unsafe trees identified on the site and the government's liability if it did not take appropriate steps to ensure that the site was made safe. That would be, nevertheless, a continuing issue.


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