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this issue has the same two dimensions as revealed in the Theodore case. The first dimension is the need for the Government to develop procedures for consultation with local people such that everyone has confidence that they are being fully informed. In the case of the Belconnen Community Council, as in Theodore, this does not seem to have been the case. The second dimension concerns the substantive action being taken by the Government to remedy the problem of contamination. This involves such issues as whether the response is the most suitable one, whether it reflects best practice both in Australia and overseas, and whether adequate provision has been made to fund it. The committee expects that the Government submission will outline the administration's plan for removal, transportation and storage of contaminated soil. If it is being stored in ACT landfill sites, then the committee wishes to know the details of the storage and the handling methods. The committee would also like to receive information about the long-term implications of such storage for the health of nearby residents as well as for the health of water systems such as those of the Murrumbidgee catchment.
Mr Speaker, I conclude this statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment by stressing the importance of handling contaminated sites in the ACT in the safest and most comprehensive manner. The committee hopes that this interim statement will encourage the Government to move swiftly to address the particular concerns of Theodore residents and the general desire of the Canberra community to be assured that appropriate mechanisms exist to deal with serious contamination problems, wherever they may occur.
Sitting suspended from 12.11 to 2.30 pm
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
Budget - Capital and Recurrent Expenditure
MS FOLLETT: I direct a question to Mrs Carnell in her capacity as Treasurer. Mrs Carnell, yesterday, in answer to a question from Mr Kaine you replied:
... it is grossly misleading to try to create an artificial separation between capital and recurrent spending for the purposes of reporting a budget.
You went on further and you said:
That is why budgets these days see no separation between those two things.
I must say, Mr Speaker, that I think there would be many an accountant and many a company director who would be astounded at such a statement. Indeed, Mrs Carnell's own Treasury officials nearly fell off their chairs when I told them about it.