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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1895 ..

MR HIRD: How do you explain the Estimates Committee report, which, if adopted, would add $83m to the budget's bottom line over the next four years? Or is it, as your leader says, all care and no responsibility?

Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker, I tried to take a point of order but the member just spoke over the top of me. I was trying to draw your attention to the fact that supplementary questions are not supposed to have a preamble, let alone a long one.

MR SPEAKER: The preamble was certainly germane to the question.

MR BERRY: There is a preliminary matter I must deal with, Mr Speaker, before I go to the central issue of Mr Hird's question. He did mention Labor's costings before the last election. There was a stark contrast between Labor's costings and those of the Liberals opposite. We were accused in the election campaign, and we have been accused since, of not understanding accrual accounting, which is of course a very straightforward accounting system which most people associated with government these days are beginning to understand. It seems that, whilst the Liberals were accusing us of not understanding it, they had a difficulty themselves. Labor came forward with some costings which were in complete accrual terms right down to the last dollar. Nobody could criticise them. They were spot-on to the last dollar. Who was it who did not put forward an election budget in accrual terms? Kate Carnell. Kate Carnell put forward her election budget in cash terms.

Mr Stanhope: Did that include the Belconnen pool, Mr Berry?

MR BERRY: Of course, it did include the Belconnen pool. One costing that I can be confident that was considered by the Estimates Committee was the gold coin donation to Floriade. That was one costing we did. We thought that was a reasonable one, but it would be difficult to know what the full outcome would be at the end of the day, because it would be a donation rather than the compulsory fee which people visiting the ACT will be confronted by when they turn up. I hope they dig deep, pay the fee and go and see the beautiful Floriade, because it will be a joy. It was opened today, incidentally. The free Floriade was opened today by the leader of the Labor Party, Mr Stanhope, and we recommend that people go to the free Floriade and perhaps they will go back for the one that you have to pay an entry fee to get into. Of course, we would recommend it.

I go to the second motion that we passed as a result of the Estimates Committee report. This arose from a minority report, although in the end it was supported by other members of the Estimates Committee as well. It might well have been a majority report. Members might think about that.

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. First of all, the questions were all about the Estimates Committee report, not about a minority report. My second point is relevance under standing order 118(a). Mr Hird asked whether Mr Berry would add the $83m to the operating loss. It is about the amount of money.

MR BERRY: No, we would not, because that is not the role of the Estimates Committee to add $83m to the bottom line.

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