Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

None . . Page.. 1583 ..

Mr De Domenico: The highest participation rate in history; 5,000 new jobs.

MR BERRY: Go away! The unemployment rate is flat or declining right across the Territory.

Mr De Domenico: That is right; it is declining. Spot on; I agree, Wayne.

MR BERRY: The unemployment rate in the Territory has been rising or flat, and so has the economy, every month since you have been in office.

I was interested in the Chief Minister's speech yesterday when she talked about the $32m in claims for additional expenditure by departmental heads. She said, “If I had not said no to these demands, the deficit would have been greater. I announced that we were deferring the proposed June budget”. Because a few departmental heads make a big claim you defer the budget. But you do not consult with business. They are outraged because of the extra expense and uncertainty that this has caused in the business fraternity. They have a right to complain. These people are supposed to be your traditional constituents; and you have turned your back on them. We will not turn our backs on them. They made strong complaints about the timing of the budget and the delay and its effect on business. The committee recommended:

The committee recommends that the timing of the ACT Budget should not work against certainty and predictability for ACT business in order that employment and business success is not hindered unwittingly.

That is the point which I finish on; unwittingly, because that is about the style of this Government. They do most things unwittingly and have not stuck to their promise of consulting with the community or their traditional constituents, the business sector.

MR KAINE (4.03): Mr Speaker, there are a number of aspects of the capital works program this year that I would like to comment on. Some of them have already been mentioned by earlier speakers. The thing that strikes me most about it is that, after six years of various committees - estimates committees and planning committees - reviewing the public works programs year after year and making any number of recommendations each year about how the program can be improved to make it more understandable and more meaningful, we seem to have failed utterly.

We have been trying, during all of that time, to persuade the administration to put together a capital works program that is cohesive; that looks like each year's program is part of a strategy where the works have some priority in the scheme of things; and where each project that is put forward is fully justified; so that we can see why it has been done, how much it is going to cost and the like. Unfortunately, in that respect, this year's program is no better than any of the others that we have seen.

In 1993 we made some very real recommendations about how things might be improved. The Chief Minister at the time recognised all of that. In responding to the Planning Committee's recommendations on this matter, on 23 November 1993, the then Chief Minister said in respect of this program, amongst other things, that there would be established a capital works group. She added:

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .