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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2072 ..

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I can understand how those opposite do not like the answer to this question. If you had a stopwatch on this, I think you would find that their interjections and their points of order have actually taken longer than the answer. I think that would be shown. In times of budget problems, I think it is really important that questions like this be brought up in this Assembly. It is an issue of how government is managed. The government of the day must be able to manage its own budget. For the Executive to spend $475,000 over budget in the final year of those opposite - 38 per cent of their whole budget was blown - is a totally unacceptable situation. From Mr Whitecross's perspective, I think $238,000 is the amount of money by which we spent less than they did. For very good reasons nobody believes that those opposite can manage this Territory or could bring in a budget on track if they tried.

Retail Trading Hours

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is directed to Mr Humphries as Minister for Planning. This is his opportunity to answer a question about shops. Minister, is it not the case that the real reason you have used retail hours as the control method for trying to protect suburban shops that you are looking after big business? Rather than restricting retail space, you are allowing development of more retail space in town centres, which will actually continue to damage small shopping centres far more than leaving retail hours unregulated would.

MR HUMPHRIES: It is relatively easy to face an argument when it is consistent, but when the argument goes all over the place it is very hard to work out. We are told that we are trying to help small business but we are not really. We are told now that it is more about helping big business. I am not quite sure how that follows. We are told that this is a policy which will not help small businesses at all because it will not affect any small businesses. Then we are told that Mrs Carnell is getting a personal benefit from it because she has an interest in a pharmacy at Red Hill. How those two things are consistent I do not know either. The point is that if you are going to run an argument try to be consistent about it in this chamber.

Now we have the argument that we are trying to help big business. That is a very strange argument. If ads like those that I have seen in the last few days in supermarkets and elsewhere are any indication, I do not think big business quite thinks that we are helping them by this process. It is a slightly strange argument, frankly.

Mr Moore: A different big business, Mr Humphries - the development industry retail space.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Moore, you have asked your question.

MR HUMPHRIES: Let us take Mr Moore's argument at face value. Mr Moore obviously thinks that helping establish more retail space in town centres is somehow helping big business. It is true that the supermarkets which operate at those town centres, particularly at Woden and Tuggeranong, under a policy which allows them to go ahead - they do not have that yet, incidentally - will be able to expand their size and to reconfigure

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