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MR HIRD (11.12): Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister said in her address that the ad hoc approach to budgeting by the Labor Government over the last three years must stop. The Follett Labor Government went on a spending spree, costing millions of dollars. They approved all sorts of works, seven months out from an election.
Mr Berry: List them.
MR HIRD: I am about to, Mr Berry. For instance, in public transport, $750,000 was committed for further studies into the light rail project, of which $250,000 has been spent. For the police, there was $750,000 for the running costs of the Winchester Centre and the fit-out of Civic police station, which was not allowed for in their budget. For the courts, it is estimated that in 1994-95 the Eastman trial - which has been around for some time - will cost around $3.5m. There was no allowance for that in their budget. The health budget made no allowance for the cost of running a clinical school at Woden Valley Hospital - $2.5m. There they are; they are the good operators! Then for the bone marrow transplant service there was no money. It just shows that they could not manage.
It is no wonder that, during the election, small business operators in this Territory had to embark on the SOS campaign - the save our shops campaign. It was because these people were going to close down the small shops. I say to Ms Horodny that they were about closing down small neighbourhood shops. I was pleased to hear Ms Horodny address the matter of small business. Under the Carnell Government, it will be given priority. The Chief Minister indicated that.
Mr Berry: Priority for what? What are you going to give them?
MR HIRD: Priority. In the next three years they will not need to run an SOS campaign. They know that this Government is about management; they know that this Government is responsible; and they know that this Government is open. Those are facts. It might hurt you, Mr Berry, and your colleagues, but you have professionals sitting opposite you here. You had 4½ years, and you deliberately sat on your hands and did absolutely nothing, with the exception of a couple of small things. I will bet on that. There were a couple of small things that you did, but they cost us money. I know one person who will be sending Mr Berry a Christmas card, and his Christian name is Bob. He has 380,000 reasons. But that was yesterday. Today you have a professional team. Even though it is a minority government, it is a professional team. We look forward to the challenge with some enthusiasm. We will be trying to work with the Labor Party - with everyone in this chamber - to make it a positive government that the people of this Territory can be proud of.
Mr Berry: Close the doors.
MR HIRD: All you can say is, “Close the doors”. You have closed the doors for years. Seeing that you raised the matter, I will say that, if you had your way with Acton Peninsula, there would be 500 townhouses there. That is a fact. We have made a decision. You people were not capable of making that decision, and that is another fact. I can say with all honesty that this Government is enthusiastic about getting on with the job, getting things done and making it a responsible Territory and with responsible elected representatives.