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Canberra Times . . Page.. 1667 ..

She still would have had over $35m worth of Commonwealth funds less than she had for the previous financial year. So, Mr Speaker, how would she do it? How would she have done this? It is pure, unadulterated, straight out of the tap snake-oil to tell the people of this Territory that it would not have been like this under the Labor Party. That is pure, utter garbage. You people know it, and you do not have the honesty to tell people that that is the case.

Mr Speaker, in this budget we have made a series of decisions which are tough, and I think the reaction to this budget indicates that the people in this Territory believe that we are on the right track.

Mr Berry: Two dry economists in the business sector. You kid yourself.

MR HUMPHRIES: No, it is not just those people. It is the people in the Canberra Times who have said that this is not the horror budget that everyone was expecting. Thanks very much, Wayne Berry: No fire sale of assets; no wholesale slashing of the bureaucracy; very little privatisation; no selling off of the major public assets; no privatising of the Canberra Theatre; no selling of the Street Theatre; no selling of the Nolan Gallery; no privatising of Namadgi National Park; no savage decrease in the sports budget; no abandonment of our promise to the Tuggeranong indoor sports centre. How many times do you have to get it wrong? I would have thought, Mr Speaker, that in the course of shooting out those little distortions of lies Mr Berry would sometimes have hit the right target. It is like being in a room full of people, getting a gun and shooting all over the place. You would think you would hit somebody sooner or later. Hardly a soul fell. The room was left standing and his gun was smoking away. All these bullets have been - - -

Mr De Domenico: I think Ms Follett went away on purpose to embarrass him; I really do. She said, “I will go away. Wayne is acting leader, and we will let him embarrass himself”.

MR HUMPHRIES: I think Mr De Domenico is right. I think Ms Follett went away on purpose. Mr Speaker, I remember well the picture of the faces of those opposite as Mrs Carnell was reading out the budget speech on Tuesday. This was not the budget they were expecting. They were horrified that the budget we delivered was a budget that will put the ACT on the right track. They know that, and they are damn worried about it.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.53), in reply: It has been a very interesting debate. I am still not sure what the Assembly is telling us we should have done. We have heard that it is a slash and burn approach; that it is Kate Kennett Carnell. We have also heard that we are borrowing too much; we are spending too little, or we are spending too much; we are spending too much on business and tourism, or we are not spending enough because we should be spending $5m a year, so that is no good either; we are not spending enough on education, although we are spending $20m more over the next three years, and it is the only area of expenditure that maintains funding in real terms in the whole of the government arena. It seems to me that there has been very little direction from the Assembly in general.

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