Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 November 2007) . . Page.. 3635 ..
jurisdiction in Australia, Treasury performs, in terms of budgeted outcomes, at a level equal to or better than almost every other jurisdiction in Australia. That is a credit to the Treasury. The bottom line is that the September quarter showed increasing strength in the economy and the budget position. My expectation is that the same will be replicated in the December quarter.
Mr Smyth: Point of order, Mr Speaker: standing order 118 (a) says that the answer “shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question”. The subject matter of the question was the December quarter. If he has said no, which he has, then he should sit down.
MR SPEAKER: I think he is entitled to fill in the gaps, Mr Smyth.
Mr Smyth: Not according to the standing orders—“shall be concise and confined”.
MR SPEAKER: Stick to the subject matter of the question, please, Chief Minister.
MR STANHOPE: I will. I will conclude on the point of Mr Smyth’s continued interjections and the fact that Mr Smyth was one of those that delivered four consecutive deficits—that delivered a bottom line of $800 million in the red. Of course he is embarrassed at the strength of the economy currently.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Come to the subject matter of the question or conclude, Chief Minister.
MR STANHOPE: It is a question of Mr Smyth’s continued embarrassment.
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, the September quarter consolidated financial report again showed a massive underestimation of taxation revenue generated from conveyancing duty. In estimates committee hearings, when the Property Council suggested that your approach to forecasting was flawed and conveyancing revenue was being underestimated, you stated: “This is a mob with almost nil credibility.” Treasurer, in light of the latest massive windfall from property taxes, which is in line with forecasts made by the Property Council, do you stand by your previous statement and, if so, what is your reasoning?
MR STANHOPE: We understand now, of course, why Mr Smyth did not want me to proceed with my answer in relation to the September quarter, because the questions got out of order. Mrs Dunne jumped the gun and asked about the December quarter before Mr Seselja asked about the September quarter. The political geniuses that constructed the question actually did not say, “Mr Seselja, you need to stand before Mrs Dunne to provide the sequence,” so I have now been asked to answer a question asked by Mr Seselja which I answered, of course, in answering Mrs Dunne, because Mrs Dunne was a bit impatient to leave the chamber and asked her question first.
The September quarter—it is a pity that we got these out of order—did show a $55 million variance to date, and it is a fantastic result. The $55 million variance is a