Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2229 ..

Mr Moore: Gary, doing it like that is dumb. Some places are already efficient. You should reward efficiency.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Moore says that he is very efficient. That may well be the case. Mr Moore may well be able to show that we spend less on the Assembly in the ACT than other parliaments spend on themselves. That may also be the case. Whether we can justify quarantining the ACT Assembly from cuts that are being imposed in other areas of the budget, in light of people's general view about the way the Assembly works, is another matter altogether.

We have quite consciously and deliberately said that, unless a special case can be made out, we will treat areas equally. We have made a special case of education. You would not think so, hearing the way people have debated this issue in the course of today, but we have made a special case of education. We have significantly increased education spending in this current budget. Mr Speaker, it is quite extraordinary. We have delivered the largest increase in education spending since self-government began, yet we are under attack for having not done what people want us to do in respect of education. It is a quite extraordinary state of affairs. Other areas of the budget are being treated on the basis that they should sustain a reasonable share of the cuts. Admittedly, not all are treated in the same way. We have increased allocations to arts funding in line with promises made in the lead-up to the election. We have frozen expenditure on policing in real terms, again in line with a promise - - -

Mr Connolly: With a promise to increase it by $1m.

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, a promise we could not keep because of the state of the budget that we inherited. Mr Speaker, notwithstanding that, we attempted to honour the spirit of that agreement. We made no promises in respect of funding the Legislative Assembly at a particular level and it therefore will experience cuts at the same level and to the same degree as other areas of the Government, including, I might note, the Executive budget as well - a budget which those opposite could not live within and blew out dramatically in the last - - -

Mr De Domenico: By $410,000.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank my colleague. They blew it out by $410,000 before the last election. That is the kind of irresponsible and special treatment for politicians which this Government does not stand for, and therefore it will not quarantine that part of the budget.

Mr Speaker, the other point to note is that there is a fundamental misconception on the part of those opposite and those who have sat on the Estimates Committee concerning the basis for the cut in the Assembly's budget. The allegation was made repeatedly - it forms the basis of the Estimates Committee report - that we took the actual expenditure for 1994-95 as the basis on which to cut that amount from the line item for the Assembly for 1995-96. That simply is not true. We took the forward estimates. The Government, therefore, has not penalised the Assembly for underspending in 1994-95. You have made a mistake in your Estimates Committee report.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .