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Mr Berry: You are up to your hocks in broken promises.
MR STEFANIAK: We said that we would “guarantee to maintain current levels of ACT education funding indexed for inflation over the next three years”.
Mr Berry: That means pay for all the salaries, Bill.
MR STEFANIAK: No, it does not. That is something you should have done, Wayne. That is, from the 1994-95 figure, approximately another $7m, and that is exactly what we have done.
MR MOORE: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I see that Mr Stefaniak is quick to quote the appropriation from the budget of 1994-95. Mr Stefaniak, I wonder whether you are aware that in no other part of the budget does the Chief Minister work from last year’s appropriation but always from the outcome. If you look through this book, you will not find another example of using last year’s budget. Just as an aside, I point out that Mr Hughes and Dr Chessell might give you nine out of 10, but they do not vote on the floor of this chamber. Apart from that, is it not true to say that you have been tricked by your own Chief Minister?
MR STEFANIAK: Mr Moore, I really do not think anything can be plainer than this: “... guarantee to maintain current levels of ACT education funding” - current levels are $199.9m - “indexed for inflation over the next three years. This will amount to an increase of approximately $7m in the 1995-96 Budget”. That is exactly what the Chief Minister has done.
MR SPEAKER: It being 3.00 pm, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 19 September 1995, question time is interrupted.
APPROPRIATION BILL 1995-96
Debate resumed from 19 September 1995, on motion by Mrs Carnell:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (3.00): Mr Speaker, the budget the Treasurer presented on Tuesday was long on gloss but short on substance, long on rhetoric but short on facts. It was a budget designed to ensure Mrs Carnell's political survival, but not to ensure the wellbeing of our Canberra community. It was a budget with all the wrong priorities. I have characterised this budget as a fraud on our community, and I have not used that term lightly. In this budget, what you see is most definitely not what you get. Having heard all the rhetoric for the past six months about a financial crisis and the Territory's level of debt, I had at least expected a continuation of the restraint on borrowings that has been achieved over the past several years. Instead, what did we get? We got the highest level of borrowing ever undertaken by an ACT government - $62m. Not even Trevor Kaine, in his most troubled moments of minority government, thought of borrowing so much.