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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2978 ..

Mr Smyth: You’ve actually got to put it.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Sorry, members, we need to vote and we need to have a division on this particular question because I suspect that a quorum may not be present. The advice I have received is that we should have a division on it, because a quorum may not be present. The question is that the suspension of standing orders be agreed to. So ring the bells. We do not have an absolute majority present on the floor at the moment.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 13

Noes 0

Mr Barr

Ms Hunter

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Mr Smyth

Mr Hanson

Mr Stanhope

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.8—Department of Treasury—$49,741,000 (net cost of outputs), $41,900,000 (capital injection) and $27,722,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $119,363,000.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (8.36): I thank members for that. Sometimes you miss things, and I do apologise. Thank you for the graciousness. This is perhaps the line on which much discussion will be had, because at the heart of what we discuss is the Treasurer’s strategy for the year, the decisions that have been made under the guidance of the Treasurer, how they will be achieved. It is really a statement about the future of the territory.

I think, if you were looking at this document for a clear path forward, you would be disappointed. You only have to go to pages 20 and 21, the budget plan assumptions and target. It is the same chart as appeared last year. That still shows the zero savings in the year 2009-10 and the targets for the forward years. It does not leave one with a sense that this is a government that knows where it is going. You only have to have seen the struggles during the year and, indeed, the last couple of months where, suddenly, it was announced that we were to lose a sum of money from the GST revenue. The number that has been touted is still subject to debate. We then saw sudden action from the government in the form of the staff freeze.

Upon questioning the government during the estimates process about what about the benefits of the staff freeze were to the bottom line of the budget, we were unable to get an answer really that gave us any confidence that there was any purpose in it at all. Probably the thing that is most common through the documents is the lack of sense of purpose of this government. This is a government that does not seem to know what it wants, does not seem to know where it is going and does not seem to know how to get there.

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