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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2069 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Fine, Mr Speaker. The fact is that there has been no stone unturned by the Supermarket Institute in the campaign that they are running to use whatever argument - fair or foul, fair or unfair - they can find. They have misrepresented the situation repeatedly and deliberately, and I would want to see the survey that they are referring to before I took anything on face value from those opposite.

Certainly, the question has been asked as to what extent people prefer to have shopping available and unrestricted trading hours. Of course, people will generally say, "Yes, we would like unrestricted trading hours". But the same people have also said, "We want to see the retail hierarchy of Canberra preserved. If we are coming home from the shops or from work, whatever it might be, late at night and we suddenly realise we do not have any milk in the house, we want to be able to go to our local corner store and buy on a small scale". Mr Speaker, of course, they cannot do it because under the policies in place until now - - -

Ms McRae: Which local shops do you go to? It is a stunt.

MR HUMPHRIES: My local shop is closed, Ms McRae. My local supermarket is closed.

Ms McRae: What time do you shop? Not at 6 o'clock.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I shop at hours of the day when I can shop at group centres. That is where I shop, Ms McRae. I get to those group centres, and I shop at my local centre if I can get into it. People in this Territory want a choice of centres. We are not going to deny them that choice. Under this policy they will have that choice, but the choice will be whether they shop at a local centre, a group centre or a town centre at particular hours. All those three choices will be preserved. Without this policy there is a real risk that many citizens of this Territory will not have access to local centres at all.

Executive Budget

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, through you, I put a question to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, there has been a fair amount of talk lately in this Assembly about expenditure by the Executive, both this one and a previous one; but amongst all that talk there has not been, as far as I can - - -

Mr Berry: They are all on the pension, Trevor.

MR KAINE: I will come to him in a minute, Mr Speaker. As far as I can recall, there has not been a definitive statement on the matter from either side. There has been lots of innuendo and a great deal of unsubstantiated assertion, but I would like today to particularly hear a statement from Mrs Carnell on this issue. Chief Minister, can you advise the Assembly whether the Executive budget for this Government, unlike that of the previous Government, is on track for 1995-96? Can you give a definitive statement; and, Mr Speaker, could you ask the jack-in-the-box opposite to sit down so I can hear the answer?

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