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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (22 February) . . Page.. 183 ..

Mr Berry: The point at issue, Mr Speaker, is that Mr Kaine implied that Ms Follett had misled the chamber, and I think that is out of order.

Mr Humphries: I wish to speak to that point of order, Mr Speaker. If the inference you draw from what Mr Kaine said is that Ms Follett in her statement may have been misleading the Assembly, you should be consistent with your ruling yesterday on the statement by Ms Follett that Mrs Carnell had made a claim which was fraudulent. You allowed that to be put to this chamber; you did not require it to be withdrawn. Consistent with that ruling, you should allow the statement by Mr Kaine to stand.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, we certainly have heard Ms Follett preaching around this Assembly of recent days that this Government could reduce our spending on consultancies; that we got in consultants for all these things that the ACT Public Service could do anyway. It is interesting, Mr Speaker, that recently Ms Follett placed on the notice paper a question about the expenditure of this Government on consultancies, to which question I provided an answer; but what Ms Follett forgot to ask about was what her Government actually spent on consultancies during their term of office. I can see that Ms Follett is looking a bit uncomfortable over there. I would be as well if I were her. Mr Speaker, from the time that Ms Follett resumed as Chief Minister in mid-1991 until she lost her job in March last year, she spent some $31m - - -

Mr De Domenico: How much?

MRS CARNELL: She spent $31m on consultancies. To be precise, it was $30,931,306m on consultancies. In fact, in 1993 - - -

Mr Wood: I do not think so. You had better read that again.

Ms McRae: I do not think so. Try that again, Mrs Carnell. Try that one again.

Mr Wood: You missed that one badly.

MRS CARNELL: It was $30,931,306. In fact, in 1993-94 alone Ms Follett spent some $10.2m on consultancies - just during that one year. Who is kidding whom, Ms Follett, in terms of consultancies? This Government certainly does use consultancies because, exactly like you, we need skills that at times simply are not available in the ACT Public Service. We seek those skills from consultants outside the Public Service. It is absolutely hypocritical for you opposite to say, and to continue to say, that somehow the money we spend on consultancies is unreasonable, when you yourself spent $10.2m in one year. In fact, from July 1994 to March 1995, $7.58m was spent. Compare that to the $6m spent between July last year and the present by this Government. It shows quite categorically that it is important for government in the Territory to use consultants, but it certainly shows who used more - not us.

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