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Mr Connolly: They will be after the Raiders next.

MS FOLLETT: As Mr Connolly rightly comments, they will be after the Raiders next, and who could blame them? What a prize! Mr Kennett cannot have laid eyes on them yet, or he would have put them alongside the formula one grand prix from South Australia and the motorcycle grand prix from New South Wales. I hope that he is not listening to my speech. Mr Speaker, as far as the Government's Liberal colleagues go, the best help I can give them is to repeat the advice that Mr Berry has previously given them - that is, as they leave the ACT, for heaven’s sake, frisk them at the border.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.10): I rise to address the house on this matter of public importance very much aware of the job that my colleagues and I have in cleaning up the financial mess left by the previous Government.

Ms Follett: Get away - $88m.

MRS CARNELL: We do not shirk that job. It is very unfortunate that Ms Follett cannot read documents; but anyway, that is, I suppose, just one of those things. Nor do we accept the blame for the legacy of the previous Government that claimed to be financially responsible and at the same time presided over what was a dramatic downturn in the local economy.

Ms Follett: Get away; that is untrue.

MRS CARNELL: We do know the difference, Ms Follett. More people now are moving out of the ACT than are moving in. Key industries are in a slump and government revenue is down, all because of the short-sighted and irresponsible policies of the previous Labor Government. That would be bad enough. On top of that, as my colleague Mr Kaine has pointed out, the previous Government could not even control its own budget - typified by the massive blow-out in Executive salaries and perks enjoyed by the former Ministers and their staff. With the sort of blow-out that we saw in the Executive budget, they certainly should be ashamed of themselves.

Thankfully, the people of Canberra were not fooled by the political and financial duplicity of the previous Government - a government that claimed to be good managers while they did nothing to reform the ACT public sector or attract to Canberra the businesses that are vital for the creation of new jobs. It is that short-sightedness that has now left the ACT Government facing not an $80m surplus, Mr Speaker, but a $275m increase in debt over the next four years if the previous Government's policies were to continue.

Mr Speaker, on Tuesday night we witnessed the Federal Labor Government bring down a budget that showed an artificial surplus of $700m. That shows that it is not only Ms Follett who has artificial surpluses. How did they do it? They did it by selling off the farm. They have done a quick fix to cover up an $8 billion hole in their budget.

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