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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2729 ..

Appropriation Bill 2010-2011

[Cognate paper: Estimates 2010-2011—Select Committee report—government response]

Debate resumed.

Schedule 1—Appropriations.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.1—Legislative Assembly Secretariat—$7,048,000 (net cost of outputs), $432,000 (capital injection) and $5,625,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $13,105,000.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3.13): (Second speaking period taken.) It is hard to know where I was up to. But we do come back to the—

Ms Gallagher interjecting

MR SESELJA: Sorry, what was that? I missed that interjection. I think it was an important interjection. Could you just speak up a little bit?

Ms Gallagher: I was saying you were doing what you normally do.

MR SESELJA: Okay. I think I was pointing out the flaws in the government’s response. I think that is right. I was pointing to the fact that they were concerned that some of the recommendations appear to question decisions of the government. I do believe that is where I was.

Because we are also debating the government’s response to the committee report, it is worth going through, in overall terms, the critique of this budget, because there are significant flaws in it. Firstly, it is not a budget that is fiscally responsible. It delivers massive deficits for years and years to come. It is a budget that is not accurate—and we saw another example of that today in question time, in fact, with the health budget. But it uses unrealistic and incorrect economic indicators—particularly pointed out with the need for a recall, such as employment numbers. It is a budget that is not transparent. We have got countless examples in questions on notice—in answers to questions on notice from ministers—where they simply refuse to say what they are spending the money on.

We have example after example, right across portfolios, where ministers say, “Well, we’re not going to tell you; we haven’t done our internal budget.” So what they are saying is, “Give us a bucket of money, and we’ll spend it how we see fit. We’ll spend it how we see fit, but you need to support us, sight unseen. We can’t tell you how we are going to spend that money. You just vote for it. You just vote for it, Assembly, and we’ll spend it how we like.”

It is the ultimate in hollow logs. They are asking us to endorse their hollow logs—their slush funds. We do not know what they will do with some of that money. We have seen in the past their record for wasting taxpayers’ money. We have seen their

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