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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 1518 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

Mr Speaker, it is also a fact that when the Liberals last had the purse strings they had recourse to the Treasurer's Advance on a number of occasions under Mr Kaine as Treasurer. On 30 May, on 15 August and on 25 October 1990 the Liberals tabled documents as to their usage of the Treasurer's Advance. Mr Kaine never produced a second Appropriation Bill. Mr Kaine never said to the people of the Australian Capital Territory, "There has been a blow-out here, but it is not my fault. I am the Treasurer". Mr Kaine tabled his Treasurer's Advance documents like a responsible and open Treasurer. He did not attempt the fraud that is being attempted here today. This was a publicity stunt by Mrs Carnell, the tooth fairy Treasurer, and it is a stunt which has fallen flat on its face.

MS REILLY (11.55): Mr Speaker, there are certain things that I would like to raise. We saw this Government go to the polls last year, talking about health management and how they were going to manage health well. The discussion here has all been on their mismanagement. I have heard this for several weeks. The thing that I am particularly concerned about is what sort of example this Government is setting for the community sector at this time. Obviously, many community organisations fall into the Chief Minister's portfolio responsibilities. These organisations are hammered all the time about being efficient, about managing within their budgets, about managing within the grant allocation that they are given by the Government.

I would like to see the response of the Government if these organisations come back and say, "Can we have some more? We are not sure how much we want. We would like something between $1 and $14m to add to our budget. We are a bit sorry; we have not quite managed it properly. Yes, we are seeing more and more people and we want more money". I am quite sure that the response would be, and it has been previously, as I know, "Why do you not just cut services? Why do you not just leave people stranded?". People looking for transport services at this time cannot get access to the taxi subsidy because that has run out and there is no more money to top it up. No, you cannot have money to get transport services for social outings. That is a very important thing for people who are living in isolation. The suggestion is that these organisations just work for no money; that they just do many more hours of unpaid work, which is what a number of them do already. They do not have the opportunity to come back to ask for somewhere between $1 and $14m to top up their budget allocations.

There have been a number of increases in costs in the last year. Community rents have gone up, there has been an increase in electricity charges, and there is a possibility now that people working in the community sector will receive the wages that they should have been receiving over a number of years; but the community organisations are sitting there at the moment wondering how they can pay for these, because there is no indication that they are going to get any money to pay for these additional charges. So what are they supposed to do? Do they cut services and leave people stranded - and this is what is going to happen - or do they just lose their jobs?

If there is not sufficient money to pay staff, do you just get more job losses? Do you just say to these people, "You no longer have jobs."? Is the Government concerned about these things? They are quite happily accepting massive job cuts from their Federal colleagues. They might be making a few token protests but - - -

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