Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 1092 ..
MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care): Mr Speaker, I claim to have been misrepresented.
MR SPEAKER: Proceed.
MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether it was a deliberate misrepresentation, but Mr Corbell's understanding of last year's budget is just so inadequate. In last year's budget, when the Government took a dividend from ACTEW, I claimed that that effectively forced ACTEW to do the borrowing, and therefore they were borrowing. A sale of assets is an entirely different thing. If Mr Corbell does not understand the difference, Mr Speaker, then let him wear that.
Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to speak again, briefly.
Leave not granted.
MR SPEAKER: Order! It being 5.00 pm, I propose the question:
That the Assembly do now adjourn.
Mr Humphries: I require the question to be put forthwith without debate.
Question resolved in the negative.
MR OSBORNE (5.01): Mr Speaker, it has become a tradition of Australian Treasurers to brand their budgets - to find a glib line to repeat endlessly on that night's television broadcasts and, hopefully, short and clever enough to be used as a 100-point headline in the morning papers. According to the Federal Treasurer, the Commonwealth budget put us "back in the black and back on track". In the same spirit, the Carnell-Moore Government line on its effort makes us a "clever, caring capital." But, of course, budgets are complex things, not easily reduced to a sound bite. So there are things about the ACT budget which are both good and bad - and ugly, if you take Mr Moore into account.
On the positive side, the Government has outlined a strategy to attack our key problem, that being the operating loss, and I applaud them for that. I have some concerns about the strategy, but I will come to them a little later. As part of that strategy the Government is also coming to grips with the major part of that problem, that is, the superannuation debt, and making some attempts to trim our expenditure.