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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 21 June 2005 2005) . . Page.. 2076 ..

They have said that in public. Of course, the only expenditure that this government can undertake is that which is approved in appropriation bills. The changes to bottom lines from year to year are subject to accounting vagaries and vagaries in relation to accruals, et cetera, which are not about the government spending money but the very extensive investments in health and superannuation—those sorts of things—and other accounting changes. This opposition we have has I think, either out of gross stupidity or gross dishonesty, set out to mislead the public of the ACT.

Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker. There is no attempt to mislead and he must withdraw that and the imputation of dishonesty.

MR SPEAKER: No, I don’t think the Treasurer has accused anybody of misleading the Assembly. He talked about misleading the community and I think that is an entirely different matter.

Mr Smyth: And the “dishonesty”?

MR SPEAKER: I don’t know that he assigned that to any group or individual.

Mr Smyth: He said, “this opposition”.

Mrs Burke: Yes, he did say that.

MR SPEAKER: I think the Treasurer should withdraw that.

MR QUINLAN: Okay, I will withdraw it but I need to qualify that. There can only be two reasons that Mr Smyth and Mr Mulcahy—

Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Mr Speaker. I would like your ruling on whether Mr Quinlan has actually withdrawn, seeing you asked him to withdraw.

Mr Seselja: He said he would qualify it.

Mrs Dunne: He went on to say that “I need to qualify it”. I thought that withdrawals had to be unqualified withdrawals?

MR SPEAKER: Well, that is true but I think—

MR QUINLAN: I am seeking, Mr Speaker, to clarify that and, to set Mrs Dunne at ease, I am qualifying the statement that I made before.

Mrs Dunne: Okay, that’s fine.

MR QUINLAN: So rest easy, Mrs Dunne. So what we have is a couple of guys over there who are claiming that this government went out and spent something close to $700 million over four budgets—over and above the original budgets. Now that just ain’t true. If you think it is true then you know very, very little about budgets and appropriations. I expected that from Mr Smyth, who has made some other statements in this place that—

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