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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 30 June 2011) . . Page.. 3173 ..

debate this evening, the Treasury portfolio has moved from me to Mr Barr, who is now officially the Treasurer. That is probably a first during a budget debate. I would like to acknowledge the excellent help and assistance I have been given by the Treasury Directorate throughout my time as Treasurer, handing down three budgets. It was an enormously privileged position that I was in and I wish Minister Barr all the luck as Treasurer and all the best wishes ahead.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (2.33 am): I have got to say that this is the last chance for the Greens, because, in Ms Hunter’s voice when she said, “On balance, we will be supporting the appropriation,” I sensed that she was weighing it up. We have now heard since then the Treasurer’s advance speeches. I do not know whether that has changed her mind. Is there anything else maybe we can put to you? How much on balance do you think you are? Are you 40 per cent, 50 per cent, on the precipice? I do not know that really on balance it was that they were going to not support it.

But we will do our best to put the case. And the case is this: it is 1 July. That is what has happened. That is the other thing that has happened during this debate. We have all become that little bit poorer because our taxes have gone up as of 2½ hours ago.

Ms Gallagher: You got a pay rise.

MR SESELJA: I am sure that, between Julia Gillard and Katy Gallagher, any pay rises will be wiped out—whether it is the flood tax, whether it is the extra rates, whether it is all of the other increases. Certainly those who are renting will be paying a lot more very soon. We will all be paying more. The community will be paying more. The cost-of-living burden will get that much tougher.

The biggest spend that is going to come from this budget, that is going to flow from this budget, is of course a rolled-gold office building, a $430 million office building.

Ms Gallagher: $500,000.

MR SESELJA: It is setting it in train, isn’t it? They have set it up. We do not believe that Canberrans should have to keep paying more and more so that this government can build itself a brand new office building. I suspect that nothing I say can get the teetering-on-the-brink Greens to come our way and to vote against the budget. They might be on the cusp. Should I take my second 10 minutes? All right.

Mr Barr: We do not hear enough of you, Zed.

MR SESELJA: I know. I might get going. We will leave it there, except to say that Canberrans will pay. These are serious issues. They will pay a lot more and that is why it is an irresponsible budget, and that is why it is a budget we will not be supporting.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (2.36 am): I did forget one question for the Chief Minister and Treasurer at that time in the Treasurer’s advance. Of course, in the days between the 23 June and 30 June, there was still $7 million left available to you. How much of that did you spend?

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