Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 885 ..
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am fascinated that those opposite still think that there is somehow new money somewhere. If those opposite could tell us where there is money that is not reprioritised in this budget, I would like to know. The reality is that we have an operating loss. We are not in a position to be going down the path of increased expenditure. In fact, as members will have seen, expenditure is flat over the next couple of years, or the next year.
Mr Speaker, there is no new money. Yes, departments that fund organisations that are subject to the SACS award have understood that on a case-by-case basis, depending on the situation, they may have to provide some extra money for the SACS award; but it has to come from within the budget. There is no new money. We are reducing our operating loss. It shows that those opposite still do not understand how you reduce an operating loss. Maybe it is the Pauline Hanson "let us print some money" trick. They used to have in their policy a State bank. Maybe we will see a people's bank. It would be about as rational.
MR WOOD: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I am disappointed with the response. Does the Chief Minister realise, has she come to understand, that the workers under this award - - -
Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, we have been through this thing about a preamble many times before. I am sure that Mr Wood would have heard or understood by now that he has to ask a question, not make a statement.
MR WOOD: Sit down and shut up.
MR SPEAKER: Order! I was just thinking - - -
MR WOOD: Can I ask my question, Mr Speaker?
MR SPEAKER: You may; without preamble, Mr Wood.
MR WOOD: What a pompous interjection! Does the Chief Minister understand - Mr Humphries does not - that the workers in this area are working in the most difficult circumstances you will find in Canberra and they are working with the people who are among the most needy in this community? If there is no additional money, if there is no help for them, is the Chief Minister then requiring that there be fewer services delivered or that these people work even harder to cover those services?
MS CARNELL: Again I have a huge amount of trouble in making those opposite understand. We said that we will deal with these organisations on a one-by-one basis. Yes, some of those organisations will get extra money for the SACS award. It may mean, though, that we will not be able to purchase as much of some services. It may mean that there need to be savings elsewhere in the Government. There is no new money. If we spend more in a particular area, which we are not for a moment saying we will not, then it has to come from somewhere. That is the bottom line. It is very easy to understand.