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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 1 July 2010) . . Page.. 3243 ..


MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (1:18 am): Just a couple of quick words on the Treasurer’s advance and then some comments to sum up on the budget. The Chief Minister told us last year what he thinks about using the Treasurer’s advance as a saving measure. People might recall that, before the last election, we said we would cut the Treasurer’s advance in half as a savings measure because it was being used as a slush fund. It was being used to reward wasteful expenditure and encouraged a culture of waste. The Chief Minister did not agree with that.

We see in this budget that they do use it as a saving measure. They did not go the half—I think they went the quarter, but we know what the Chief Minister thinks of that. He said in this place:

It is interesting, too, to note that the other major saving of the Liberal Party—the Treasurer has mentioned this without attempting to be too scornful—was to actually cut the Treasurer's advance, which is not a saving at all. It really is just fiddlesticks. That is just smoke and mirrors.

Mr Smyth: Fiddlesticks.

MR SESELJA: Fiddlesticks. He said that is just smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.

Mrs Dunne: Smoke and mirrors and fiddlesticks.

MR SESELJA: Yes, indeed, now this is what the Chief Minister had to say around—

Mr Hanson: Not a saving, Mr Seselja?

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Okay, order members! We have all had a good time; it is getting ratty in the morning.

MR SESELJA: So when it was a Liberal saving, it was fiddlesticks and smoke and mirrors.

Ms Gallagher: Okay, on to your general comments now.

MR SESELJA: I am not quite finished with the fiddlesticks. I do like that terminology, “fiddlesticks”—it is quaint. There is a 0.25 per reduction to the Treasurer’s advance this year. They could not bring themselves to go the whole way. They should have done it properly, but they are in two minds as to whether it is actually a saving. According to the Chief Minister it is fiddlesticks and smoke and mirrors.

To sum up on the budget generally, this is a budget that delivers massive deficits. The government still fails to get its spending right at a time when it has record revenues. At the same time as it spends more than any other government has in the past, it continues to fail in the basics of service delivery.


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