Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 2452..
MR STANHOPE: In any discussion about the accounting standard utilised in the financial year that has just been completed it has to be said that the Australian accounting standard was the standard applied for seven years by Ms Carnell, and by Senator Humphries as Chief Minister. Mr Mulcahy casts this burley far and wide.
Mr Mulcahy: We are not talking about her budget.
Mrs Dunne: We are talking about yours. You have had four budgets.
MR STANHOPE: We are not talking about the previous Liberal government and we are not talking about former Chief Ministers or Treasurers. We are talking about this budget. Mr Mulcahy does this deliberately. He asks, "Why do you do this, Chief Minister? Why do you do this, Treasurer?"
Mrs Dunne: Because you are the Chief Minister, not Kate Carnell.
MR STANHOPE: He does not ask, "Why are you doing it?"or "Is what you are doing consistent with what Mr Stefaniak and Mr Smyth did in seven long years of Liberal government?"The accounting standard applied in the last financial year is the accounting standard that was applied for seven years by the former government. Under that accounting standard it produced a surplus of $176 million. Why is it that Mr Mulcahy prefers us never to compare like with like? Why is it that he does not want me to reveal that, under the Australian accounting standard, there was a surplus of $176 million in 2005-06?
It is the fifth consecutive surplus under the Australian accounting standard delivered by this government compared with four consecutive deficits produced by the Liberals when they were in government—deficit, deficit, deficit, deficit, deficit. Under the Australian accounting standard we have delivered five consecutive surpluses. We did not disguise the fact that it was the last Australian accounting standard. It will never be reported again under the Australian accounting standard.
We have moved to the GFS now and forever. Under the GFS, the budget papers reveal, unaudited, but a deficit of $91 million. It is there and up-front, I think, on page 1 of the budget papers. Under the GFS the deficit is $91 million, a significant improvement on the $160 million that had been anticipated in the mid-year review. So we improved by $70 million over the course of the first half of the year. The GFS deficit, which is reported on page 1 of the budget papers, is there for all to see. Under the Australian accounting standard, the standard under which the budget is prepared, there is a surplus.
MR MULCAHY: I ask a supplementary question. Why is the government asking Canberra residents to pay more and more through increased new rates and charges, given the Chief Minister's claim of five consecutive surpluses, including a surplus of $176 million?
MR STANHOPE: Once again I appreciate this question from the shadow Treasurer. Once again he has asked me this question. I think he has asked me this question almost every question time this year.