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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 4003 ..

Mrs Carnell: Mr Speaker, can I raise a point of order? Mr Berry indicated that somehow I did not care about taxpayers' money, that I was willing to do anything with it. I would like that withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. I insist that the interjections cease. This is an important matter. Numbers of questions have legitimately been raised by Mr Osborne and Ms Tucker, and I would hope that in due course people will have a chance to get those answered.

MR BERRY: What about me?

MR SPEAKER: You will have the chance. I hope your questions can be answered, too, Mr Berry, if that is possible, sir.

MR BERRY: You raise the question - - -

MR SPEAKER: I do ask for silence on this matter.

MR BERRY: It is a bit hard to get a satisfactory answer on such a difference of opinion, when you look at the documentation. Mrs Carnell says that not one dollar will go to the MBA training fund, yet $75,000 has gone. There is a bit of a gap there. She says that there are 150 jobs for young Canberrans. Mr De Domenico says that there are 25.

Mr De Domenico: We do not say that at all.

MR BERRY: You do say that. This is your letter:

Finally, let me reiterate that the funding derived from the Bill will also contribute to subsidising trainee wages for a further 25 first year apprentices - - -

Mr De Domenico: On top of other things.

MR BERRY: Yes, but 25 jobs -

and an additional 25 "at-risk" apprentices.

There are too many unanswered questions and there is far too much shaky ground upon which to make a judgment in relation to this legislation. It has to be either dumped or adjourned until the Government makes a better fist of backing up what it claims. On the face of it, this clearly looks as though the decision to hand over $300,000 was made, and then they tried to underpin it with answers. This legislation should not be passed, because of those sorts of circumstances. Let us look at another couple of issues in the legislation. One is the retrospective nature of the legislation. What they want to do is make it retrospective so that they can pull a bit more money out of the training fund because there is some sort of urgency to prop up this organisation that has a $300,000 deficit. That is the urgency, and that is why they want to have retrospective legislation. There is no argument there which would support retrospective legislation. It is totally unnecessary and it will not be supported by the Labor Party.

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