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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2235 ..

MS McRAE (continuing):

the Government simply says, "Oh, my God, we are going to combine. Remember that we have combined capital works with recurrent expenditure. We are going to create a new arbitrary accounting system, which we did not have before, and suddenly we have found ourselves in major debt". You have to remember that the Follett Government returned a recurrent budget in surplus.

Mr De Domenico: Rubbish!

MS McRAE: You have now amalgamated that. We have seen what you do with figures today and it does not look very good. The GFS combination of capital works borrowing plus recurrent budget has created a new picture, and from that new picture we suddenly have gloom and doom, and the sky is falling in. Let us look back at the reality of what was there. The recurrent budget was in surplus. We knew what our services were. We knew what we paid for our services, as we know exactly with this Assembly budget. We knew exactly what services we got for each little item. It was itemised down to every single detail, down to the stamps, and what it said to the people of Canberra was, "Here is something that you can be proud of; here is something that is open to you". What happened to that? Tuesday night sittings were cut. Where is the $70,000 saving from Tuesday nights that we were promised? Where is it in the budget? Maybe it was a mistake. We hear about these mistakes from the Government, who says that I am the one who does not understand; but 36 teachers are going from secondary colleges. I am the fool, but 36 teachers are about to be moved. I do not understand, because you are deliberately mistelling the story.

The Assembly budget encapsulates exactly what we are talking about. You pick an arbitrary number and apply it because Mrs Carnell's re-election plan says that in three years' time she does not want to have any borrowing; she wants a balanced budget, and that is all that matters. It is too bad if people cannot get into the Assembly, too bad if this place cannot work, too bad if we lose committee staff, too bad if the general public cannot have access to us, too bad if we cannot keep offering the same level of service that people need. That is just too bad. This encapsulates the whole-of-government approach to the budget. There is absolutely no concern and no understanding of the services provided, of the essence and importance of those services, of which ones have to be protected and corralled for the good of the people of the ACT, and, worse than that, a continuing breaking of promises as if they never existed. This Assembly budget is wrong. It is badly executed, it shows no understanding whatsoever of how our costs are achieved, and it encapsulates in one single line exactly what is wrong with the entire Carnell budget.

MR MOORE (4.56): Mr Speaker, I think the thing that horrified me most of all was the Chief Minister's response when I made a comment about the Grants Commission. She said, "Yes, but we might have a bit more of this and they might have a bit more of that", and so on. I suppose, if you want to, you could compare the value of the land here with the value of the land beneath the New South Wales Parliament or the Queensland Parliament. If the Chief Minister understood how the Grants Commission worked she

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