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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3466 ..

MR OSBORNE: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. How is our report being corrected? Is that what you are saying? You are correcting our report, are you?

MR SPEAKER: It is simply a question of privilege, Mr Osborne. It will require a statement to be made that the report has been issued under privilege. There is no attempt to ban it, by any manner of means.

Government Assets - Sales

MR WOOD: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, you funded your budget this year by selling off some of the family silver. Since you have got no growth and no potential for increased income and no borrowings in the next couple of years, what do you propose to sell in the next two years to pay your way?

Mr De Domenico: Cough medicine.

MRS CARNELL: Yes, cough medicine. We will have a cough medicine led recovery. Very seriously, because it is a very serious issue, the issue of assets management is an approach that this Government will continue with. We have some $7 billion worth of assets in the ACT. Some are redundant and in some cases we can get a much better return on our investment. We will continue to look at our assets management to ensure that we get the best return on our investment.

As I said yesterday, if the approach that we have taken in this budget were merely about asset sales, then that would make it a bad budget. The reality is that we are selling some assets and we are building things. What we are selling we are building. We are building $98.6m worth of capital works this year, which basically equals the amount that we are selling. In fact, at the end of this financial year the reduction in our assets will be 0.3 per cent. That is not a major capital reduction. It is not a huge selling off of the silver. I think it is really important to remember that Ms Follett sold some $131m worth of land when she was Chief Minister. Whether you like it or not, land is one of our major assets.

Mr De Domenico: That is not silver.

MRS CARNELL: It might not be silver, but maybe you can call it the back paddocks. Do you think that is the way to go? The fact is that all governments have sold assets, whether it be land, buildings or whatever. It is a very normal part of government. It has been added to revenue on every occasion. We will continue to look at it in that way, but we will also be going down the path of fundamental restructure.

MR SPEAKER: Order! It being 3.00 pm, pursuant to the resolution of the Assembly of 24 September 1996, question time is interrupted.

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