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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1835..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

amongst the best in Australia. We have delivered the fifth successive surplus-$120 million. That is the second highest surplus ever delivered by an ACT government.

The opposition and shadow Treasurer now pooh-pooh this, denying of course with an amazing lack of self-awareness that their colleagues used exactly the same system for seven long years, using exactly the same accounting treatment in relation to land sales and superannuation. His speech is now out in the public-"why did the government take so long?"-never for one second acknowledging that his colleagues in government used the same system, the same accounting standards, for seven long years. And, even using those accounting standards, they could not deliver the surpluses we have.

MR SPEAKER: The minister's time has expired.


MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the minister for education. Does the minister believe it essential to take steps to renew public education in the ACT? Were there any alternative policies?

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: that is asking for an expression of opinion-"Does the minister believe?"

MR SPEAKER: You are right.

Taxation treatments

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Treasurer. Why has the government decided to index its new rates, charges and fees by the wage price index instead of the more conventionally accepted consumer price index measurement? Does he acknowledge that the WPI is expected to be 45 per cent greater than the CPI and that, by using it, he is applying a less equitable measure by which these new charges are imposed on Canberrans who are already bearing an unfair tax burden?

MR STANHOPE: I will take on notice some of the specifics that the shadow Treasurer seeks. You need to understand that, when the shadow Treasurer suggests and uses a number such as 45 per cent in relation to comparisons between two standards, I do not assume for one second that it is right or it is true. I will check before I take it as a given.

Mr Smyth

: Don't you know?

MR STANHOPE: I do not know the answer to that. The fact that it is out of the mouth of the shadow Treasurer raises some significant other scepticism in relation to whether or not it should be believed in the context of some of the other utterances we have heard just today on his understanding of GFS and accounting treatments in relation to superannuation and land which are way off the beam and show a remarkable lack of understanding of previous budgets and GFS assessments.

Mr Mulcahy: Read your own budget paper, BP3.

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