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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 1514 ..

MS McRAE (continuing):

in regard to Appropriation Bill (No. 2), that, as one of my colleagues has already pointed out, there were three areas that the money could come from. That was less than a month ago, Mr Speaker. In front of an estimates committee we were told about three separate areas - the Treasurer's Advance, redundancy money, and public works. Less than a month later what do we get? An audit transfer taking the money straight out of public works despite - - -

Mrs Carnell: That is because it is a month closer to the end of the financial year.

MS McRAE: We will find out where the money goes. There will probably be no money in the Treasurer's Advance, and there will probably be no money in the redundancy pool, will there, Mrs Carnell? We do not know anything about that, do we? We were told of three separate areas that this money could come from. Now we are being told that it is not the end of the financial year. Why were we told two different stories? In this supposedly open process we are being spun a tale in order to off-load responsibility that Ministers should take. If the $14.2m was being taken straight from public works, why were we not told that three weeks ago? The impact of that is devastating. We raised concerns about it at the Estimates Committee. Every single member of this Assembly has raised concerns about taking the money from the public works program, yet what are we told? We are told that $14.2m is to come straight out of that, when we were told less than a month ago that there were two other areas from which the money could come.

It is not good enough, Mrs Carnell. You are off-loading responsibility. You are obfuscating. You are creating an impression of openness. Less than a month ago we were told one story. Three weeks later in you come with an audit transfer under the Audit Act which you could have come in with in the very beginning and which we could have debated at any time. It is a pattern of obfuscation, off-loading of responsibility, a pretence of the importance of Assembly members which is not verified by any other action on your part or anybody else's in the Government. It is a contempt for other Assembly members which is palpable from this Government whenever - - -

Mrs Carnell: You are just bitchy.

Mr Humphries: Do you believe this rubbish, Roberta?

Mrs Carnell: I hope not.

MS McRAE: Now, of course, we hear personal comments thrown in for good measure. Thank you very much.

Mrs Carnell: What have you been doing?

Mr Humphries: Like what?

MS McRAE: I am talking about the Government and the Government's approach to this Assembly.

Mr Humphries: You are talking rubbish. That is not personal.

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