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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (18 April) . . Page.. 1075 ..


Health Budget

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question without notice is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, in your presentation speech to the Appropriation Bill (No. 2), you said that a second appropriation was an "open and transparent mechanism for budget adjustment". You also said that the Government was "making an open and accountable statement to the community about the costs of health care and the changes that are needed". You said:

... this appropriation will not require the Government to undertake additional borrowings to cover the expenditure of $14.2m.

However, Chief Minister, nowhere do you say where one dollar of the money is going to come from to make up the $14.2m hole in your health budget - the result of your own incompetence and mismanagement - and the promises are precisely the same as the ones in your failed first Appropriation Bill. Chief Minister, where precisely are you going to find the $14.2m, given your undertaking to the Assembly that you will not borrow it?

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I think I have made it quite clear in any number of forums exactly where the underspend has been. It has been predominantly in capital works. We have made that quite clear. There is also underspending in the central redundancy pool. I think I have made that point in this place as well. I think it is totally clear and on the record that we have underspent in capital works and in the central redundancy pool. There is the Treasurer's Advance as well. There are all of those sorts of things. Mr Speaker, we could have done what the previous Government did and fiddled the figures.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. Would you direct the Chief Minister to keep her mind on the question rather than on what she could have done?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Berry might not like it, but that is exactly what I answered.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, Mr Berry does not like answers that avoid the issue. The issue is: Where is the money coming from?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MRS CARNELL: I just said.

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