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They do not know what the Government is up to. It is presenting a confusing picture, a late budget. The budget comes after their end of year statements and those sorts of things. The source of a lot of concern for business is this decision by the Government to delay their budget.

Under the Keating Government unemployment is trending downwards right across Australia; but in the ACT, admittedly from a better base, we are trending the other way. This again is a sign that there is a lack of confidence in this Government. The Liberals trumpet how much better they are for business. If you listened to the reveille from this lot you would expect that there would be an immediate emergence of confidence from the business sector. It has not happened. It is trending way downwards. This is because of a lack of confidence, and it arises from the inability of the Government to demonstrate a clear position, a clear way forward, a horizon, a glimmer of light.

I think the Government has a lot on its plate in relation to this Supply Bill. The Estimates Committee, I think, will have a busy job. It will be a very difficult job for the Estimates Committee to make comparisons and to do the work it sets out to do. Good on them; I hope that they work their way through it. It is now up to the Government to be able to demonstrate that what has been put before the Assembly today is not a sham, is not a shonky trick. It has to do a lot of repair work to bring back business confidence in the hope that we can get some sort of activity going on out there in the community and can get back on board the national trends in employment and so on.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (4.20): Mr Speaker, I think there is a little bit of hysteria running around the chamber about the nature of the Supply Bill. It is certainly a Bill that is different from ones that have been provided in the past, but I have to ask members to bear in mind what this Bill is all about. This is not what the Government proposes to spend for the year, or necessarily even for part of the year, with respect to particular areas of budget delivery. This is a provisional allocation of money which is flexible enough to accommodate changes in government policy, decisions made in the budget which are yet to be delivered, and yet to be made, for that matter.

It is therefore, I would suggest, of relatively little importance what those figures might be. If we are honest about it, that really is the bottom line. No-one is being asked to say, for example, whether it is appropriate for the Education and Training division of the budget framework to have $122,560,000 for the first six months of this coming financial year. No-one is being asked whether that is an appropriate amount to be spent, because that amount may well change. In fact, it will not change in Education; but in other areas it may well change, depending on the decisions that are made in the budget. This is a very notional extension of the previous Government's budget process to cover the period until this Government brings down its budget.

I have to say to members that I think there is also considerable disinformation and not a little hysteria about the idea of a later budget in the ACT. We on this side of the chamber argued originally for the early budget. We pushed an originally somewhat reluctant Labor Party to have an earlier budget. Believe me, we believe strongly in the idea of early budgets. We would love to have delivered a budget this year in June, not in September; but to have done so in the framework of a new government coming into office, with only three months in which to master portfolio areas, to understand issues in

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