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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2240 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

Let us get to the bottom line of this. It is all well and good to criticise bottom line budgets and what have you, but what is everybody standing up and whingeing and moaning about? The forward estimates tell us that, inflation included, the allocation for the Assembly should have been $5.473m. What did the Assembly budget get? It got $5.489m. What are we standing up here whingeing and moaning about? Most other areas in this budget had to take a cut. The belt had to be tightened. According to the forward estimates, inflation included, the Assembly should have got $5.473m. It is getting $5.489m.

Ms McRae: You are not comparing apples and apples, Mr De Domenico.

MR DE DOMENICO: Yes, we are comparing apples and apples, Ms McRae. You should know, because you were Speaker for a while. When your Executive, Ms McRae, overspent their budget by $410,000 - - -

Ms McRae: It was not my Executive.

MR DE DOMENICO: You belong to the same party, Ms McRae. I did not hear you stand up and say anything about that. You said nothing at all. The bottom line is that the forward estimate, including inflation, was $5.473m, and we are getting $5.489m. So for anyone to stand up now and whinge and moan, and spend all this time talking about democracy and all sorts of other things, to me is just utter nonsense. Let us get on with debating this budget.

We were talking about costs before. I am advised that the cost of a plastic card - one of these - is $16.80. That is 10c more than it costs when people go into the Ainslie Transfer Station. We are talking about other security measures now, like push-button things. I reckon that a push-button, or whatever, outside would cost at least $4,000, for heaven's sake. Where is the sense in that? We can allocate these, at $16.80, to whoever wants them. I do not care who gets them, to be very honest. Let the public have one. Our doors are always open as long as you can get in to them.

Mr Connolly: No. Your doors are locked at 5 o'clock. That is the point.

MR DE DOMENICO: No; my door is always open, Mr Connolly. I do not know about yours. You are never here at 5 o'clock anyway, so you would not know. Anyway, it costs $16.80 for one of those. But no; we are going to go back to the Administration and Procedure Committee so that they can work out this wonderful way of getting access to this building. It is probably going to cost about 40 times more than just allocating 10 or 20 of these.

MS TUCKER (5.10): I want to pick up something Mr De Domenico said that conflicts a lot with what Mrs Carnell has said about democratic processes in the Assembly and the role of committees. Mr De Domenico just said that we should get on with discussing the budget and not talk about democracy and such nonsense.

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