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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2232 ..

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.43): I have to respond to those comments. Mr Whitecross is right; we did say in the Estimates Committee that our approach in the future would be away from the arbitrary cuts we had seen in the past, but we did say that this budget was formed on their basis - a cash-based accounting approach which meant that we did not know what anything cost. We said that time and time again. That will not be the situation in the future because we will know, with the reforms that are in place, exactly what services cost and where the appropriate pruning will be able to occur.

One of the things that have been misunderstood by a number of speakers today is the Grants Commission's figures on Assembly expenditure. Mr Moore, I am sure, does know that the figures that he quoted were several years old. Most importantly, they did not include any accommodation costs, any associated corporate costs, any of the things like parking, and all of the things that were - - -

Mr Moore: You know - - -

MRS CARNELL: As well, Mr Moore, in every other parliament, to my knowledge, there are such things as - - -

Ms McRae: Electorate offices.

MRS CARNELL: As electorate offices, all of those things which were not included - - -

Mr Kaine: Members' bars, members' dining rooms.

MRS CARNELL: Yes, members' bars, members' dining rooms - all the things that were not included in those figures. I think it is a bit unwise to use those sorts of figures when you simply cannot compare the two situations.

It was also said by those opposite that somehow we were treating the people on the second floor differently from those on the first floor. That is definitely not the case. The only people who ever did that were those opposite when last year they overspent their salary budget by $284,000 and their administration budget by $126,000. In other words, there was an overrun of $410,000. That is treating the second floor differently from the first floor. We have brought the Executive budget back in line so that we do not have those sorts of dramatic overexpenditure in things like administration and salaries generally. I think one of the things that also have been ignored by those opposite or those in the Assembly is the $12m we recently spent on a new Assembly building. I do not think that is an insignificant amount of money.

Just to top off the hypocrisy that we have been talking about today, I seem to remember that once before security was cut. There was one other time that, I think, Mr Kaine introduced security over at the old building. Who cut security afterwards? Ms Follett put her hand on her heart and said, "This is unfair. This is awful. We are all unsafe". This is a secure building. That one was not particularly safe. Ms Follett took away the security.

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