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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2429 ..

MS McRAE (continuing):

We have seen the Chief Minister take action in terms of amalgamating a whole series of groups, which may or may not be a good idea. For instance, the support group for antenatally depressed women being all moved to O'Connor, whilst in theory may well be an arguable position, meant in practice that quite a few women who live a long way from O'Connor are not able to get to that service.

I am not suggesting that review is not necessary, or that some level of change is not necessary. What I am saying is that during the process of the Estimates Committee, when looking at this line item and trying to come to grips with what is going on in the funding for community groups in this area, it was extremely difficult to get to the information that we needed. This particular paragraph, 3.47, summarises some of the concerns that we have, which I think are not only our concerns but also those of the community. Given that this is meant to be a three-year budget, it is particularly important that this area is spelt out publicly in a lot more detail, so that perhaps the review process becomes a much more open and public one. Armed with that information, perhaps all concerned with the services provided in this area will feel a lot more assured that there is some basis for the types of decisions that are being made and the level of concern that is expressed can be allayed.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure - Division 240 - Health Promotion Fund, $2,284,800 - agreed to.

Department of Business, the Arts, Sport and Tourism

Proposed expenditure - Division 60 - Business and Regional Development, $11,238,300

MR WOOD (8.43): During the election the Government made some grandiose claims about spending in the area of business and tourism and, again, those claims are repeated in the budget. I recall one time, I think during question time, the Minister was waving Budget Paper No. 2 around, loudly proclaiming achievements on the part of the Government. Let me indicate that there has been some increase in expenditure, but it is certainly a long way short of the $5m that Mr De Domenico claimed in his policy speech and has written into this document. He read back to me what is in the document, and I can read that.

However, Mr De Domenico has used a sleight of hand here and taken routine capital expenditure and shoved it in here. For example, there is $1.85m to upgrade the Visitor Information Centre. Mr De Domenico was very insistent that this is business development. It is routine capital expenditure. It does not qualify for the term Mr De Domenico wanted to use. It simply does not fit into that category. There is an amount of money, some $737,000, to initiate redevelopment of Kingston foreshore. That is a planning issue, and simply that. It is planning. Mr De Domenico is fudging it. In Budget Paper No. 4, it claims $2.4m in additional expenditure this year, in contrast with Mr De Domenico's claimed $5m in his glossy propaganda budget paper. If he falls back to a more reliable document, he has exaggerated by twice the amount in order to try to justify his election claims. They simply do not add up.

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