Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (16 April) . . Page.. 962 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

The issue here is honesty. If the issue is honesty, tell the whole truth. That is what you are not doing. It was always dealt with honestly in this place before, because when money was transferred from one administrative unit to another the matter was brought back into this place in the same way as the document to which I referred does it, Mr Speaker. Mrs Carnell is trying to create some new impression of history. Nobody is fooled by that and she will be exposed by the Estimates Committee process which is proposed in this motion. Mr Speaker, that is the first issue of honesty that we have to deal with.

The second is the attempt by the Chief Minister to blame everybody else for the problem. If Mrs Carnell was a decent manager and was honest in the way she approached her work she would accept the responsibility for her failure and among these documents that have been circulated with the Bill we would find her resignation. This Chief Minister and Treasurer holds the record for the largest overrun ever. It is $14m so far, Mr Speaker. She has the belt. She has the trophy on the mantelpiece, and she can keep it, Mr Speaker, because I do not think anybody will be trying to knock her off her perch on this one. This is an overrun of monstrous proportions when you bear in mind what was anticipated in the budget. Mrs Carnell was very keen to criticise other governments in relation to those matters that they could anticipate. She built all of those into her budget and still overran by $14m. Of course, she blames everybody else. She says that it is not her fault. Mr Speaker, I think the Estimates Committee process will uncover those issues.

Mr Speaker, we have to go back to whether the budget was wrong in the first place. Did the Chief Minister and Treasurer set the wrong parameters? Something is wrong and we have to uncover the facts. This is a far cry, Mr Speaker, from the honeyed promises that we have had in the past. Where are the 50 beds amongst all of this? She could not afford to do it, apparently. Mr Speaker, the promise was a phoney and the budget was a phoney as well. Where will the money come from? Who suffers as a result? Will it mean that capital works projects do not go ahead? Will it mean, Mr Speaker, that there will be fewer jobs out there in the business sector, particularly the small business sector, because of Mrs Carnell's inability to manage the health budget?

This Minister has already been censured for her management of the health budget and she is back in here again begging for more money to cover up her own incompetence. What we have to determine is whether the right cuts are made in other areas. We have to uncover whether or not the health budget should have been addressed differently. For two years Mrs Carnell has been saying that she has the answers. I think this is an indictment. I think this clearly sends the message. I do not think she has the answers. She has a little bit further to go.

It looks to me as though Mrs Carnell does not even know the right questions to ask, and that, in a sense, makes this a sad day for the ACT. This is an admission that Mrs Carnell has failed as a Minister for Health. It will be pointed out that she has failed as a Treasurer in making this admission and bringing this document to the Assembly. That the Chief Minister has not attached her resignation to this Bill is a disgrace. Nobody before has tried this sort of a stunt. We are not being offered a solution.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .