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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2071 ..

MRS CARNELL: In 1994-95 the Follett Government overspent its Executive budget by an amount that represents, as I understand it, the worst ever blow-out by any agency or department in the history of self-government. Put simply, Labor Ministers overspent their own budget by $475,000, or 38 per cent. There was a 38 per cent blow-out in their own budget. Mr Speaker, not only is our Executive budget forecast to come in on track - in fact, slightly below budget - but we were actually going to spend 13 per cent, or $230,000, less than those opposite spent in their final year in government. For those opposite, that works out at 24 Eagle Hawks, on my calculations. It could also fund the sign interpreter service for the Deafness Resource Centre for three years - a service that those opposite refused to fund and now seem to demand that we do.

Mr Speaker, 38 per cent is an enormous blow-out in anybody's budget. It really does show a vast difference between that side of the house and this side of the house. We do not operate on the view that somehow there is a trough up there on the second floor that certainly those opposite had their snouts in, Mr Speaker. Over the last 15 months, since we have been in government, we have reduced expenditure on Executive vehicles, on hire cars and taxis, on meal claims and on hospitality.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I wonder whether you could ask the Chief Minister, if she is going to read her answer, to read it quickly.

MR SPEAKER: Were you taking a point of order, Mr Berry, or just having a conversation with me?

Mr Berry: No, I just make a simple request.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order if that was your intention. Please continue, Mrs Carnell.

MRS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, on that point of order: Standing orders do require that answers be concise.


Ms Follett: Mrs Carnell has been reading for some time now and she still has a number of pages to go. I think it is reasonable to ask that she be asked by you to draw her answer to a conclusion.

MR SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. On the question raised by Ms Follett, standing order 118(a) states that answers to a question without notice shall be concise and confined to the subject matter of the question. Certainly the latter is being carried out. I would think that the Chief Minister is being as concise as she can be in what is a reasonably complex answer to a detailed question. Please continue, Chief Minister.

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