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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 June 2011) . . Page.. 2690 ..

been established in the Secretariat. With the recurrent expenses for this function, it should save $150,000 per year. Previously we were paying Shared Services $500,000 a year for this same service. Now there is a saving of $150,000 a year and that is very welcome.

We were talking about the estimates report and the recommendation about increasing Daily on Demand, particularly for committees. I believe that the response from the government was that it is the Speaker’s call on that particular issue. I also think there are some people out there who do like to follow through committee inquiries and debates in the chamber who may well like to see that extended and I do hope that the Speaker will look into those issues.

The 2 per cent increase to the Assembly budget is reasonable and, in our view, appropriate to ensure that the Secretariat continues to deliver the excellent quality services that it currently does. The Greens will support the proposed appropriation in this line.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.2—ACT Executive—$6,394,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $6,394,000.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.56): Madam Assistant Speaker, when it comes to restraint in government and when it comes to sensible spending, what we expect is that we will see leadership from the top, leadership from the executive. Unfortunately, that is not what we are getting. When we have a Chief Minister who says that public servants have to tighten their belts, who is constantly forcing the community to tighten their belts and pay more, people expect that there will be some leadership from the top. What they are unfortunately instead getting is an ACT executive that wants to spend money on itself, an ACT executive that has decided that plush new offices—spending $11 million just on ministerial offices and spending $2 million on a sky bridge—is a good use of taxpayers’ money.

That goes to the heart of the government’s budgetary problems. There is no leadership from the top. Let us look at the way they prioritised some of their savings. Where did they go first? Where did this government go first when it was looking for savings? It did not go to ministerial offices. It did not go to its own advertising and travel. Where it went to was the disability community. It went to disability support in schools. It thought that might be a good place to make savings.

I put it to you, Madam Assistant Speaker, I put it to the Assembly and I put it to the government that perhaps they should be looking a little closer to home. The new government office block is a prime example of the “do as I say, not as I do” attitude of both Katy Gallagher and ACT Labor. They have been experts at spending other people’s money. They have been experts at imposing massive tax increases to pay for all of that spending. They have been experts in hypocrisy when they ask for savings to be found and cuts to be found in the disability sector but propose massive new spending on themselves.

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