Valley View . . Page.. 1562 ..
Translated, that means that Mr Berry and the Labor Party were unhappy because they were not getting the accurate budget leaks that they expected. The union movement was unhappy because, for the first time in 4½ years, the Trades and Labour Council did not get to write this year's budget. Mr Berry made a series of claims and he challenged the Government to prove him wrong. Today, Mr Speaker, I am about to do that.
Mr Berry said that the Government would adopt a slash and burn approach to public sector jobs. Wrong, Mr Berry. The Government has set aside $12m in a centralised fund for targeted voluntary redundancies in 1995-96. This compares with $17m that was allocated by the Follett Labor Government in both 1993-94 and 1994-95 for untargeted redundancies. That is $34m in just two years, and that was never announced by Mr Berry when he was Minister. Mr Speaker, Mr Berry claimed that the Government would privatise the Canberra Theatre Trust, the Street Theatre and the Nolan Gallery. Wrong, Mr Berry. These facilities will be maintained in public ownership throughout the term of the Government. The Government has also delivered on its promise to increase funding for the arts and cultural activities by $3m over the next three years.
Mr Berry claimed that the Government would privatise Namadgi National Park. Wrong again, Mr Berry. The Government in fact has acted to protect our diminishing lowland native grassland by setting aside more than 100 hectares of grassland in Gungahlin from development. I understand that Mr Humphries plans to make further announcements about the protection of grassland areas in the near future. Mr Berry claimed that the Government would abandon its promise to fund the planned Tuggeranong indoor sports centre. It was on the front page of the Valley View and the Chronicle. Wrong again, Mr Berry. The Government will provide a $1.5m capital grant to a sports consortium for a major multicourt indoor sports facility.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. If the Minister is so hell-bent on proving me wrong, will they reverse their position on the Belconnen pool? Then I will be proven wrong.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
MR DE DOMENICO: I believe that I am answering a question from Mr Hird. Construction is expected to commence in November of the $1.5m indoor sports complex that Mr Berry said was not going to go ahead, and the centre is expected to open in late 1996. That is progress, Mr Berry. Before Opposition members say, “Enough”, because they, like this side of the chamber, are embarrassed by Mr Berry's public antics, let me point out that the Acting Leader of the Opposition said that we would be putting library services out to competitive tender. Dare I say it again, Mr Speaker: Wrong again, Mr Berry. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!
It is a pity that Mr Berry does not spend more time looking at how the Territory can better manage its assets rather than carrying on like a clown. This Government, Mr Speaker, is setting out to create a can-do culture for Canberra. Mr Berry is part of the cannot-do culture that left us with the problems that we are facing up to today. Mr Speaker, the last time Mr Berry went shopping for a deal it cost the ACT community $3.3m. What this Government promises, we deliver.