Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2172 ..
Ms McRae: If you had any visitors, it would be different.
MR KAINE: Do you think you are the only person in this Assembly that ever talks to anybody? Stop kidding yourself. Get off yourself. Some of us have been around for about 20 years longer than you have. There are some people I represent; the rabble I do not represent. The people who come to see me come to see me without any difficulty.
The chair of the Estimates Committee whinged about the Government claiming some credit for spending Commonwealth money in the Health Department. I can only suggest, Mr Speaker, that she go back and look at the Labor Government's last five budgets. Exactly the same thing occurred. They spent a lot of Commonwealth money that came by way of specific grants for all kinds of purposes, but I do not remember seeing in the budget papers any specific reference saying, "This is not ACT Government money. We did not get this from the ACT taxpayer. We in fact got it from the Commonwealth. Therefore, we should make the specific point that the Commonwealth is the benefactor". Never once in those five years did I see that in the budget papers. Again, what are you complaining about? You established the process over five years, and now you sit over there and whinge and throw rocks as though somebody else had committed a crime. Nobody has committed a crime. They have done exactly the same thing that you did for five consecutive years.
It is all very well to come in here and nitpick and complain, but anybody who is really concerned about the future of this Territory has to look at the estimates and look at the budget in their totality, the environment in which they are created. I submit, Mr Speaker, that in a year from now, when we look at this Government's performance over this year, this Government will be able to establish quite clearly that they acted in the best interests of the community; that the money was properly spent; and, more importantly, that the budget was properly managed, which is more than the previous Government can say for any one of the five years that they were responsible for it. It ran itself. The outcomes were merely fortuitous or serendipitous. There was no effective management of the budget whatsoever. You will see some effective management of it this year. Mr Speaker, the debate no doubt will continue, but I hope that the Opposition get their feet back on the earth; that they pull themselves down from the ceiling and deal with the budget in factual terms rather than fantasy terms.
MR MOORE (11.20): Mr Speaker, I would imagine that members of the media here today who were at the press conference on the release of the Estimates Committee report will remember a question directed to me as to how I felt now that I had the numbers to force the Government to restore the $3.8m to the education budget. At that stage I clarified the meaning of recommendation 32, which says that the committee recommends that the Government consider the restoration. Mr Speaker, I would like to make it clear to this house that at no stage have I attempted to misrepresent that result. In fact, my view is exactly the same as Mr Kaine's. A compromise was reached in order to have a unanimous report from this Assembly committee. Mr Hird and Mr Kaine knew that I had it in mind to write a series of dissenting reports on some issues, as indeed I believe they did. As a compromise we said that the Government should "consider".