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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1411 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

With regard to Mr Corbell's comments, yes, it is quite easy for any member of this Assembly to change the budget, but if you change the internals of the budget and you do not change the bottom line, that means - - -

Mr Corbell: I did not say change it; I said oppose it.

MS CARNELL: Sorry, Mr Speaker. If you do not change the bottom line, if you pass the bottom line and you suggest that one particular area needs to change.

Mr Berry: There must be some more silly futsal slabs in there, or a few aeroplanes, or a few Woodies.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, please.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The Chief Minister has the floor.

MS CARNELL: It was Mr Corbell who got so upset when I interjected. If you leave the bottom line in place and you change items inside the budget, or attempt to, or direct the Government to, in line with the Estimates Committee report, on things like Floriade, SACS, the Institute of the Arts, streetlights and the insurance levy, all of that money would have to come from somewhere. I think what Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne are saying is that the Executive really puts a budget together and lives or dies by their own budget, which we do, and we take that responsibility. What those opposite are suggesting is not that at all. They say where they do not want cuts to happen or where they do not want revenue to be raised, but they take no responsibility.

Taking no responsibility is not the approach that Mr Osborne or Mr Rugendyke have taken. They have accepted the responsibility that a budget is a holistic product. It has a bottom line which this Assembly will decide to pass or not pass next week. We take the responsibility for things like the cuts and the extra revenue, and we face the people on the basis of that. What those opposite are trying to do, Mr Speaker, is take none of the responsibility. I think Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke should be congratulated for accepting that there is responsibility in this place for good government.

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to move an amendment to this motion.

Leave granted.

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, my amendment is about to be circulated. What it does is in line with what I said. It deletes "directs the Government to continue" and replaces it with "requests that the Government continue". The new motion will read:

That this Assembly requests that the Government continues to fund the Institute of the Arts at 1997-98 levels.

That is in line with what I said, Mr Speaker, 1997-98 levels.

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