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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2699 ..


will be after the lunch break. That will enable us some time to sort through the procedures on this.

MR SESELJA: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I trust there will be some indulgence then ahead of the procedural fixing. Mr Speaker, we go through each of the claims that are made in the government’s response. Of course, they are just broad sweeping statements which are not backed up by fact. Where I was up to, I think, before Mr Hargreaves cut me off in full flight, as he said, was that it is a continuation of the government’s budget week performance where they were unable to deny that the money that they are getting now and the money they are projected to get is more than they were even projecting prior to the global financial crisis being an issue.

We had a situation where the government was projecting a certain amount of revenue before the global financial crisis was known about. When serious economic problems emerged, particularly in Europe and North America, there was obviously great concern and Treasury estimates were amended, as would be expected. We were potentially going to see less money coming into ACT government coffers as a result. It turns out that the Australian economy did not go into recession, as had been feared, and the revenue did not drop.

What we see the following year is that what is being projected is actually more than was projected before the GFC was even feared or was a reality. The excuse that has been made by this government for the very large deficits that it is projecting is no longer there. It may have had the excuse when the GFC was hitting revenues, but now it has been proven to be false. The government’s response flows on from that because, instead of dealing with facts and refuting the economic numbers, it just makes broad assertions.

Some are interesting and we can go through them: “Many of the recommendations made in the report are unsubstantiated”—but they do not say how they are unsubstantiated—“unclear and appear to have little substance”. But they do not say why. “Some of the recommendations appear to question the decisions of Government.” The Treasurer and the government say: “How dare you as a committee or as members of a committee question decisions made by the government. That is outrageous. You should not question what we do. The Greens don’t.”

We saw that in the debate, and we saw that in relation to how the report process was handled. They say, “In a number of instances, there is little justification or evidence provided,” but they do not say where. They do not point to these instances. They do not do the work and say: “Well, this is where we believe you’re wrong. This is where we believe your conclusions are wrong. How dare you have the temerity to actually question decisions by the government?” I will give them a tip: it is our role to question decisions made by the government.

I would have thought, Mr Speaker—and this does bring us to the point—that it was the entire committee’s role to question decisions by the government. I am not sure if that same criticism has been made of the main report. I do not think that it would have been. I do not think that that is indeed the case. There is criticism that we will wear as a badge of honour that has been made of us, but presumably—I have not had a chance


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