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Hansard . . Page.. 1656 ..

charges somebody, they have to travel to Woden, Civic or Belconnen, taking a much needed resource off the road for anything up to three hours. This is not good enough, considering that at times there is only one car in the valley, with its population of 90,000 people.

Mr Berry: The Labor Party promised a new one.

MR OSBORNE: Yes, the Labor Party did promise a new police station. The budget makes a big deal about not cutting education spending, which my colleague Mr Moore claims is not the truth. I would agree, but perhaps in a different area, that being the proposed savings at Birrigai. In my view, privatising the management of that magnificent nature education centre inevitably means that courses will be reduced and, as it becomes full user pays for schools and students, inevitably some families will not be able to afford it. Some kids will miss out. I will return to education spending later in our budget process, but I am giving notice now that I will take some convincing that hacking into Birrigai is the right option.

I am glad for Gungahlin and what it is getting. It is growing and it needs more resources, but so does the valley. I am pleased for the larger businesses of the ACT, and I hope that more jobs will actually be produced now that payroll tax is being wound back. However, I pose the question: Who is paying for it? With this budget, I cannot see more jobs being offered in the valley, as the majority of employers down there do not employ enough people to gain any benefit from this move. I sincerely hope that it is not done just to look after the Liberal Party's mates.

Mr Berry: I think you hope in vain.

Mr Connolly: I think you are onto something there.

Mr Hird: Do not listen to that lot across there.

MR OSBORNE: I will listen to you, Harold. Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister called this a budget producing a can-do culture so that Canberra can live within its means. That is about right, and it is a view that I hope she keeps. However, I would have been much happier if she had been doing the doing herself instead of leaving the majority to the Government Service executives and managers.

MR KAINE (4.08): Mr Speaker, the last four years or so in the Territory have been a quite depressing experience for anybody who has been observing what has passed for economic and financial management. This is not the first time that I have had occasion to comment on the poor performance of the Labor Government. In fact, reference to the Hansard will show time and time again where I have made mention of failings on the part of the Labor Government to manage this economy and to manage our financial affairs.

If we sit and think back over the last four years or so, we see a total consumption progressively of all reserve money that the Territory possessed five years ago. We see a progressive fall in the Consolidated Fund from a balance of $180m in 1990 to zero in 1995. We see from year to year, starting in 1991-92, a downward slide in

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