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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1035..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

This, of course, goes to the heart of your lack of credibility and your lack of capacity and that of your Liberal colleagues to gain any traction or any notion in the broader community that you have any capacity to manage. You distort and dissemble. You create a range of numbers and throw them out there like chaff. We are talking, in fact, about a midyear review anticipated deficit of $17 million and all of a sudden, just with the click of a finger, the deputy leader transforms it into an anticipated deficit of $170 million. I assume he is responding to this new magic pudding figure of $190 million. He was referring to $190 million; it was not $170 million!

The midyear review predicts a 2009-10 deficit of $17 million. With a magic wand the opposition has just conjured up a magic pudding. They say the $17 million is not correct; it is actually $190 million. There is a typo in the midyear review, we now discover. Today in this place the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy leader of the Opposition, for the purposes of the first two questions, claim that where the midyear review reads "17", read "190". How interesting! How intriguing! They claim to have some credibility as an alternative government, but for the sake of a question, for the sake of a point, for the sake hopefully of setting some rabbits running, they conjure up that the Treasury, in its midyear review, got it all wrong, that it did not actually mean 17 and that the midyear forecast deficit is, in fact, $190 million. It is just bizarre.

On what basis do the Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Opposition now assert that the midyear review understated the anticipated deficit for 2009-10 by $173 million? The allegation inherent in this question is that the Treasury has deliberately fabricated a midyear review that understates an anticipated deficit for 2009-10 of $173 million. That is an outrageous allegation. They claim that the Treasury has produced, and the government has tabled, a midyear review that has deliberately understated an anticipated deficit of $173 million. That is an appalling allegation to make about the integrity of the government and the Treasury. I hope that you will table the basis on which you justify this outrageous allegation that we are lying.

Mr Smyth: Table the report.

MR STANHOPE: The midyear review has been tabled. You have a copy of it. You sit here now and insist through your questions that the government has deliberately understated by $173 million information in its possession. It is an outrageous allegation to suggest that the government is distorting to that extent Treasury information that is statutorily required. It is an outrageous allegation and it appals me that you can sit here and seriously claim that the government has deliberately tabled misleading information.

MR SPEAKER: The minister's time has expired.

Taxis—licences

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, there have been complaints about the lack of taxi services in the ACT. Can you explain what the government is doing to overcome the taxi shortage?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question as it is time that we actually started to talk about the deplorable state of the taxi services in this town,


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