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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2929..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

But that decision was not a decision of this government. It probably was not a decision of the last government, although it may well have been. From my understanding, it was a decision taken way back in March 2001, or thereabouts-around the same time that I imagine quite a lot of advice was going to the then minister about the $30 million that was going to be provided to the supplementation fund for the management of HIH claims.

Mr Smyth made comments in media statements such as there has been an illegal use of funds, that it is $1.5 million and-

Mr Smyth: Possible.

MS GALLAGHER: Well, there is a quote in one of your media releases that says there is illegal use of funds underway.

I support totally the Auditor-General having a very thorough look at this. I have been advised that the issue at the moment seems to be a failure of an administrative unit to follow procurement guidelines in how they enter into contracts, and that matter is being looked at by the Auditor-General, along with all the issues about costs that have been made against the workers compensation supplementation fund. I think it is very appropriate that, prior to making decisions, as perhaps Mr Smyth has, about a WorkCover scandal and illegal use of money and all the rest, we stand aside and wait for the Auditor-General to report back following her performance audit of this area of WorkCover.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure-Part 1.6-Department of Treasury, $29,610,000 (net cost of outputs), $14,695,000 (capital injection) and $42,408,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $86,713,000.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (6.18): Mr Speaker, much to the fear of others in this place, I am going to mention the economic cycle. The Treasurer very kindly provided this morning a chart of the economic cycle that was published in 1999 by McGraw-Hill Australia. If this is the economic cycle, as explained by the Treasurer, why isn't it in the budget papers? The Treasurer is probably the only man in the country who can actually predict the economic cycle. If he truly is the only man in the country who can do this then he is wasting his time here. He should be out there working for the JB Weres of the world and making an absolute fortune.

I was pleased that the guru of economics for the ACT has finally come up with a chart of the cycle, but when I looked at it I found that it does not have the dates as to where we are now, what part of the cycle we are in, when will the cycle end, when did it actually begin, what is the gradient of the growth trend, and what sort of growth can we have over the coming years? He has got it wrong again.

If the Treasurer wanted a copy of the economic cycle, I could have provided him with one from any of the basic economics textbooks that have been around for the last 50 or 60 years-all of them contain an economic cycle chart. The principle has not changed.


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