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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 1517 ..

Mr Humphries: You have ruled that it is irrelevant. Ms Follett proposes to quote from it again and I would ask you to ask her to obey your ruling.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. If we are going to start debating or quoting from debates relating to the 1991-92 budget, I find it extremely difficult to understand the relevance of that in relation to this matter here.

MS FOLLETT: On the point of order, Mr Speaker - - -

MR SPEAKER: I will rule it out of order.

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, could I raise a further point of order? Do you rule out of order generally an historical reference to any other Territory budget? I find that extraordinary. How is this Assembly to consider any budget without reference to other budgets?

MR SPEAKER: I cannot see the relevance of a quote that you are about to make, or that you indicated you are about to make, in relation to the 1991-92 budget.

MS FOLLETT: Would you like me to read the quote, Mr Speaker? It may help in your judgment of the relevance.

MR SPEAKER: You will read it into the Hansard, but if it is out of order I will rule it out of order.

MS FOLLETT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. It is very short.

MR SPEAKER: I fail to see how you can find this relevant.

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I put it to you, with all due respect, that in dealing with any budget - whether Liberal, Labor, or whatever - it is entirely relevant for the Assembly to consider previous budgets and also future budgets. I fail to see how you could make any other ruling.

Mr Wood: We have been talking about earlier health budgets in this debate.

MR SPEAKER: We have not been quoting from debates going back to the 1991-92 budget, though, Mr Wood.

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I will not quote from it. I will merely say that in the 1990-91 budget - the only other time the Liberals held the purse strings - there was an amount of $14m underspent on the capital works budget. There are two aspects of this historical material that are entirely relevant. The first of those is the Liberals' demonstrated inability to manage the health budget. The second is their inability to spend their capital works budget. That is exactly the same situation as we are faced with here, Mr Speaker. What we are seeing from the current Treasurer, I put it to you, is nothing more or less than a tooth fairy approach to budgeting.

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