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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 877 ..

Mr Berry: We want to hear about it. What about the promised Belconnen pool?

MR SPEAKER: You can ask a question in due course. The Chief Minister is answering Mr Hird's question at the moment.

Mr Berry: Ask Mr Hird how he can explain that to his constituents.

MR SPEAKER: I ask for silence from everybody in the house while the Chief Minister answers the question.

MS CARNELL: There was not only an about-face by Mr Quinlan on economic policies in the space of a fortnight but also a recasting of Labor's own budget strategy. Here it is - "Working Capital". What do we see here? Mr Speaker, we see that the Labor Party put together their own policy direction, based on the sale of the streetlights. Certainly, they got their accounting wrong, but what a joke!

MR HIRD: I ask a supplementary question. Another fine mess you have got us into, Wayne. Chief Minister, is there a further inconsistency between Mr Quinlan saying that we should cut $100m out of the budget and Mr Quinlan then in the next breath calling for a greater economic stimulus?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, that is exactly right. I am really glad that Mr Hird has drawn this to the Assembly's attention. You do not have to be an "accountant" to work out what happens if you carve $100m or 2,000 jobs out of the budget. Guess what happens. You reduce economic activity. That was the opposite of economic stimulus last time I checked. Yet Mr Quinlan, who does apparently have accounting qualifications, is now calling for a $100m cut to the budget and at the same time economic stimulus. You cannot have it both ways. It is that simple. You cannot have a massive cut to the budget and at the same time achieve the sort of economic stimulus that Mr Quinlan was trying to pretend we needed. I think he was right that we need it. It shows again that those opposite simply do not know what they are talking about. What we have seen, Mr Speaker, is a Keynes-to-Kennett conversion in the space of a fortnight, driven purely by political expediency. It is hardly worthy of a former accountant of the year.

Streetlights - Sale to ACTEW

MR QUINLAN: Find "cuts" anywhere in my press releases, Chief Minister. My question is to the Chief Minister. Is the much publicised forced sale of streetlights to ACTEW for $100m no more and no less than government borrowing? Yes or no?

Mr Humphries: But you were going to do it.

MR QUINLAN: I will have an explanation later.

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