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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 (Hansard) 16 May) . . Page.. 1357 ..

MR HIRD (continuing):

I would like to, if I may, Mr Speaker, direct a question to Mr Moore as chairman of the Planning and Environment Committee. Chairman, both you and your colleague, Mr Osborne, have gone to great lengths over the past two days to point the finger at the Government for what you call job losses resulting from the underspending by this Government on the 1995-96 capital works program. Specifically, you have used the formula of 15 jobs for every $1m of the capital works program - - -

Mr Wood: The minimum. It is more than that.

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I ask you, under standing order 37, to protect me from that man across there.


MR HIRD: Mr Moore, if we were to accept your argument, perhaps you could indicate to the house how many job losses - your own words - have resulted from the inability of this Government to proceed with the Acton demolition, due entirely to your desire to frustrate any progress on the Kingston foreshore land swap. The project has been allocated $3m, Mr Moore, in the 1995-96 capital works program.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Hird for giving me this opportunity. Indeed, I saw a press release today that was put out by Mr Berry, and he identified that we are not talking about just 15 jobs; they are 15 on-site jobs. Yesterday, we conceded that perhaps it is 12 jobs. Mr Berry also drew attention to the fact that there are off-site jobs. The figure that he used for off-site jobs - and I think it comes from the CFMEU - is another 30 jobs. But let us be conservative. Let us say that it is only half that number. Let us say that it is only 15 off-site jobs. At around 30, it means that the $14m taken out of capital works by this Government to cover its recurrent costs in the hospital and health area will cost in the order of 500 jobs. So, I think we have been particularly conservative so far. With reference specifically - - -

Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Yesterday, we had a series of questions addressed to the chairmen of committees, and they were all answered quite extensively. I draw your attention, Mr Speaker, to House of Representatives Practice, where it is quite clear that the chairman of a committee should not make public announcements on behalf of the committee unless he has first consulted with the committee on what he is going to say. I tried to raise this objection yesterday, without success. Could I ask you to rule on whether the answer being given by Mr Moore is out of order on those grounds.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, to clarify the position and to ease Mr Kaine's mind, let me explain that I am addressing my comments to the third recommendation of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment in our Report No. 10, on capital works. That is where we agreed to this particular position, which I am now elaborating on and making specific.

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