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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 (Hansard) 16 May) . . Page.. 1358 ..

MR SPEAKER: Mr Kaine is, nevertheless, correct when he says that you cannot speak on behalf of the committee itself. But proceed.

MR MOORE: Indeed, Mr Speaker. In my response on how we are dealing with this, I am only too delighted to answer the question from Mr Hird, and I hope that it would be at least as thorough as the answer that Mr Kaine provided for me on behalf of his committee. Mr Speaker, the $3m that Mr Hird refers to in terms of Acton is a particularly different situation from the $14m that was specifically taken out of capital works. The recommendation of our committee on capital works is to say, "Do not take the money out of capital works. When you are not doing a project, move it up in priority so that capital works money is spent on capital works and not spent to fill a hole in the recurrent budget". This is the problem I have, Mr Speaker: Trying to get this Government to understand that particular aspect. I appreciate Mr Hird giving me the opportunity to explain that. When we are talking about recurrent expenditure, it is not going specifically into that kind of job creation scheme, as capital works is. So, when money is moved from capital works to recurrent, we have this specific problem.

What we have in terms of the Acton Peninsula is a situation where, having recognised that that work was not going to go ahead, the Government should have brought out a second priority capital works program and put that ahead. There will always be times when issues of the environment, issues of planning and other issues will challenge a planned capital work. This indeed happened, Mr Speaker, as you will recall, with the development of the Gungahlin Town Centre. What we are talking about so far is inaction on the part of the Government, not only for the $14m - now they are adding another $3m. If you do that, at 30 jobs per $1m, it is another 100-odd jobs. Mr Speaker, if Government members are going to stand up and say that they are interested in jobs, they also have to support those words with action.

MR HIRD: I will ask a supplementary question. It is easy to say those words. Mr Chairman, my supplementary question is: How many jobs? Is it a fact that there is approximately $8m in the expected costs and in excess of 200 jobs, and they will be denied because of the inability of you as chairman - you can rub your hands together, Mr Moore.

Ms McRae: He has always supported it, like we have.

MR HIRD: What I suggest you do is give this parliament a commitment to support the Kingston foreshore project. And, by the way, Ms McRae, you are not running the show.

MR MOORE: Thank you, Mr Hird, for another opportunity. Mr Hird, I think I will have to try to speak slowly so that you can actually understand what I am saying. We are not talking about money that is no longer available for capital works. The committee, in fact, has recommended exactly the opposite. We have recommended that you make sure that capital works money is available for capital works, so that it stays there for jobs, Mr Hird - rather than the $14m that your Chief Minister has taken away from jobs and indeed the $3m to $5m lack of revenue that I believe will be taken from capital works. I would be interested in clarification of that. Mr Speaker, Mr Hird has correctly identified that there are another 200 jobs on top of the other 500 that the Government puts at risk if it does not use this capital works money for capital works.

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