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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2460 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

Is it positive? Of course it is. Will they talk about positive things? Of course they will not. Their lot in life is to sit in here, whinge and moan, kick some heads, be personal, and not talk about anything positive that is of value to the people of the ACT. This Government, Mr Speaker, through this budget, will get value for money. Yes, there will be some hardship along the way. There will be some tough decisions to be made, but those decisions will be made.

Taxis have come into the play. Once again, the people opposite know exactly what needed to be done. This Government took the bull by the horns and did it. From time to time there will be some people who will disagree with what we do.

Ms Follett: Yes, all the taxi drivers in Canberra. You can start with them.

MR DE DOMENICO: But, Ms Follett, we do not govern by press release. We do not govern by newspapers. We do not govern by television. You have to make some tough decisions sometimes. This Government will stand or fall, but we will never be accused of not making the right decision. I commend the budget, and I commend this line of the budget to the Assembly.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (10.36): Earlier we heard Mr Whitecross make a lot of fairly outlandish statements, but then he is very new in this place, I suppose, and he really does not have much of a corporate memory. Poor little Andrew. It is a bit sad. If he had been here longer, or if he had a bit more experience, he would understand, or he might remember Rosemary Follett's Government's response to the Estimates Committee in 1993. Mr Whitecross made some comments about the Urban Services budget; that it did not spell out the savings; that it did not get down to that nitty-gritty; that it was a hopeless line item in the budget because it did not spell out the savings in detail. I will now read a bit from the then Government's response, from Rosemary Follett's response to the Estimates Committee's report in 1993. It says:

... two of the committee's recommendations concerned the level of detail to be provided on future expenditure reductions in health and education. The committee has recommended that Ministers provide details on where and how expenditure reductions are to be achieved. The Government does not support this where expenditure reductions relate to general efficiency targets.

That means that Rosemary Follett does not support spelling out reductions or the nature of savings when they are about efficiency targets. The whole basis of this budget, the whole basis of Urban Services, is about finding savings that are in line with efficiency targets. It just shows that poor Mr Whitecross got it wrong again, or, alternatively, Rosemary Follett got it wrong again that year.

MR CONNOLLY (10.38): Mr Speaker, in defending the Urban Services budget we heard Mr De Domenico boasting greatly that, in fact, it increases expenditure on urban services and city services and the like by $1.1m. I think he said $1.1m was the overall amount. I am sitting here waiting for the amendment that must be coming to the budget because the bungling of the taxi plates matter, the business of the discredited auction - we want to hear from Mr Hird about that - cost this budget $600,000. This budget is

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