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Her protestations on this issue ring pretty hollow. If she is objecting to the fact that the Government has put forward this particular motion, and she said that it has been done without consultation, I remind her and her offsider over there, who obviously does not remember either, that this is a very similar motion to the one the Leader of the Opposition put forward last year when she was Chief Minister. She set up the Estimates Committee according to her own rules, and it went even further. That motion even determined who the chairperson would be. Where was the consultation on that issue, that the Leader of the Opposition can now complain and say that this is somehow a departure from the norm? It clearly is not.
It is a simple procedural motion put forward by the present Chief Minister and Treasurer to establish that committee that must be established, that is, the Estimates Committee, to review the budget when it is brought down later this year. There is nothing unusual about it, nothing hidden about it, nothing new about it. In fact, it does not even go as far as the protesting Leader of the Opposition went last year. I presume that the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition are trying to impress on the crossbench members that somehow or other this Government is doing something wrong. I advise them to be very careful about listening to what the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition have said, because they are totally wrong and they are attempting to mislead you.
Mr Speaker, so far as the function of the Estimates Committee is concerned, its purpose is to look at the budget estimates for 1995-96. That is its sole term of reference. For the Leader of the Opposition to argue that we somehow are constraining that committee in doing its job by including the words “in the 1995 Budget” in the motion is an absurdity. Both she and Mr Berry have said, “They will not be able to look at the rates Bill. They will not be able to look at the payroll tax Bill”. Those Bills, first of all, will be law and they will be on the table at the time the Estimates Committee meets. In any case, they are only very brief machinery Bills that enable the Government to collect the revenue it wants to collect. The details of that revenue, of what will be collected, will be stated in great detail, minute detail, in the budget papers, as both Wayne Berry and Rosemary Follett know. They will spell out in great detail how much the Government expects to collect by way of rates and land tax, and they will spell out in great detail how much they expect to collect by way of payroll tax and from every other tax the Government levies.
To assert that, because these two particular Bills are being put to the Assembly today, they will not be available for scrutiny or they will somehow obscure something from the Estimates Committee is a clear statement on the part of these two members of this Assembly that they have not the faintest idea what these two Bills are intended to do - and they should know, because they brought down similar Bills themselves in four of the last six years. They also are displaying their absolute ignorance of the information that is shown in the budget papers. As I said before, Mr Speaker, it merely proves what I always thought: They had not the faintest idea about what was in their own budget papers. They exercised no control whatsoever over it. I have said before that the budgets were out of control, and it is obvious why. They did not know what was in them. They did not know what they were supposed to be controlling.