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Housing Trust - Dividend Payments

MS TUCKER: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer, Mrs Carnell. I refer to page 119 of Budget Paper No. 3, where there is mention of dividend payments to be made from the Housing Trust, starting from $750,000 in 1995-96 and going up to $2.3m in 1997-98. Where will this money be coming from?

MRS CARNELL: I do not have Budget Paper No. 3 with me, I am sorry. I will certainly take that question on notice and get an answer back to you quickly.

Government Service - Redundancies

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. In the parliament yesterday the Leader of the Opposition referred to the slashing by the Government of 3,000 jobs. Can the Chief Minister give Ms Follett and this Assembly a history lesson and outline the use of redundancies by former ACT governments?

MRS CARNELL: I thank Mr Hird for the question - a very sensible question too. It certainly allows me to place before the Assembly some detailed information about the use of redundancies. This is information that was never highlighted, interestingly, by the previous Labor Government, and I understand why. Put simply, in the last three years the Follett Labor Government spent more than $37m on redundancies, and how many people did they pay out? Was it 100, 200 or 300? No, it was a staggering 1,019 public service officers, and all with the tacit approval, supposedly, of the trade union movement. Where were the banners? Where were the protests? Where were Ms Garvan and Ms Lundy, telling us what we could do or could not do? I think they were staying low, and I wonder why. In 1992-93 Ms Follett shelled out $8.6m to pay out 227 staff; in 1993-94 it was $17.8m for 453 officers; last year it was $11.2m for 339 staff.

Mr Berry: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Chief Minister would probably be helped by budget papers. She said that she did not have her budget papers with her. Perhaps she would like to borrow a set from Mr Stefaniak. That might be helpful in her response.

MR SPEAKER: Order! I do not think the Chief Minister needs any help at all, Mr Berry. There is no point of order.

MRS CARNELL: That is a grand total of $37.7m for 1,019 jobs. Ms Follett's repeated attack on the $12m we have set aside for targeted voluntary redundancies in this year's budget is nothing short of hypocritical. If she is going to have a go at me, she really has to have the guts to put her cards on the table. We on this side of the chamber have never criticised the use of specifically targeted voluntary redundancies. We have, however, criticised the traditional approach of, “Let us throw up our hands in the air all at once and see who can get those redundancies” - that untargeted approach we have seen in the past.

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