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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 8 Hansard (22 August) . . Page.. 2454..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

must answer these questions. Do you continue to think it is acceptable, as you did when you were in government, that the ACT had the lowest per capita level of expenditure on mental health in Australia? When this government came into office—and this is something opposition members know—the ACT had the lowest per capita level of expenditure on mental health in Australia by a country mile.

We filled the gap and the ACT now better than matches average Australian expenditure. In fact, I think we have the second highest level of expenditure in mental health. We went from bottom under the former government. Will opposition members withdraw that funding? Will the Liberal Party in government reduce expenditure on disability services? Will it reduce expenditure on mental health? Will it reduce expenditure on child protection? Will it not support emergency services? What cuts will it make? We are into the budget debate; we are up to the fourth line.

Mr Pratt: It is your budget.

MR STANHOPE: It is our budget. To date six Liberal members of this Assembly have stood up and said, "We want more money."What do they want more money for?

Ms Porter: Mental health?

MR STANHOPE: No, for themselves. It consumed the first hour of debate today. Six speakers in a row said, "Increase our allowances; give us more money."The Liberal Party wants more money, but it wants it for itself.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The Chief Minister's time has expired.

Emergency Services Authority—headquarters

MR PRATT: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, on 15 December 2005 your predecessor Mr Hargreaves announced that the ESA would establish the ESA's headquarters precinct at Fairbairn. In fact, just over $17 million has been identified in your government's 2006-07 budget for the fitout of the buildings. Minister, will you be proceeding with the move of all ESA headquarters operations to Fairbairn as per your government's original intention back in December 2005? If not, why not?

MR CORBELL: The government has made an allocation for the relocation of the emergency services agency to Fairbairn. That project is funded in the budget. That project is continuing, as apparently funded in the budget.

MR PRATT: I ask a supplementary question. Minister, I am not sure whether you answered yes or no to that move on time. If yes, will you ensure that this move occurs on time and on budget?

MR CORBELL: My intention is to see that the project is delivered on time and on budget.

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