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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 398 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

when budget pressures are demonstrably strong and result in the need for extra money, that is the result of poor administration is to make an extremely unfortunate and unfair attack on the management and, indeed, the rank and file officers of the Australian Federal Police.

Mr Speaker, our police have to work in extremely difficult circumstances. They have satisfied this Government that the pressures they are facing, in a budget sense, are not controllable from their end. They have put a good case for budget supplementation, and that - not poor administration - is the basis on which this Government has agreed to provide that budget supplementation.

MR HIRD: I have a supplementary question. I am surprised that Mr Hargreaves, as a new member, continually interjected.

MR SPEAKER: No preamble.

Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I understand there are no preambles to supplementary questions.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. No preamble.

MR HIRD: I was not preambling; I just made an observation. My supplementary question - if the natives over there would be quiet - is this: Minister, was Mr Hargreaves wrong? Is that right?

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, Mr Hargreaves was wrong. Moreover, he was, I think, behaving very unfairly towards the Federal Police themselves. I should point out to the house that in days gone by there was another politician who began his career in this place by making something of a habit of attacking the Australian Federal Police, particularly their telephone manner and things of that kind. Mr Whitecross, I think his name was, suffered a rather untimely fate. I would not be surprised if the esteem in which this community holds its police force was part of the reason for the reflection they made on Mr Whitecross as a result of his attack on them. So, Mr Hargreaves, watch out.

Belconnen Aquatic Centre

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to Mr Stefaniak, the Minister in charge of sport and recreation. I am sure this question will be of interest to our friends from Daramalan College who may reside in the wonderful electorate of Ginninderra. Minister, what costs, if any, have been incurred by the ACT Government by way of consultants' fees or any other fees to do with the siting and/or development of the Belconnen aquatic centre proposal to date?

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