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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2157 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

We would prefer that the previous Labor Federal Government had not left an $8 billion black hole for the current coalition to have to fill. We would prefer a situation where we were not expected to take an extra $10.4m in the coming year, on top of the $15m that we already have to take. We would prefer a situation where we did not have to put up any taxes or charges. But we believe that, in the situation that we were placed in, the approach we have taken, in line with New South Wales, is the fairest approach and, with the increase in threshold, is very specifically targeted for the ACT.

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. It is not surprising that Mrs Carnell has gone back on her word, because Peter Costello did, too.

MR SPEAKER: No preamble.

MR WHITECROSS: My supplementary question is this: When you came out of the Premiers Conference, Mrs Carnell, and made the statement about no additional taxes, which we have since found to be a lie, you also said that there would be no involuntary redundancies. Do you intend to break this promise, too?

MR SPEAKER: Order! The way that question has been phrased is quite out of order. It is a hypothetical question.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I think Mr Whitecross will find, when he looks in Hansard for the actual statement I made in this place last week, that I said that I was keeping my options open on new taxes and charges. In other words, he did not bother to look at Hansard. He was much more willing to take reports in the media than to take statements in Hansard. Last week, Mr Whitecross said categorically, "Shock, horror! We will be devastated. We will not let the ACT Government cut services. Cutting services simply is not on". Today, he seems to be saying that putting up taxes - any tax, no matter how well targeted it is and no matter whether it is in line with New South Wales - is simply not on, either.

Members interjected.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Everybody settle down. The Chief Minister is answering the supplementary question.

MRS CARNELL: Certainly, Mr Speaker, to my knowledge, we have never said that there will be no new taxes, unlike particular Labor Party politicians who have been known to say that.

Mr Whitecross: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My supplementary question related to Mrs Carnell's statement that "we will not be going down the path of involuntary redundancies". I asked her: Does she intend to break that promise, too? She has not answered the question.

MR SPEAKER: I said that it was out of order because it was a hypothetical question. Mr Hird?

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