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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 310 ..


Belconnen Pool

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. In the Government's draft capital works program for 1999, revealed - not surprisingly - in this morning's Canberra Times, the Government has apparently allocated $1.2m towards the construction of the long-awaited and much-promised Belconnen pool. On ABC radio this morning the Chief Minister admitted that the capital works program allocation pre-empted findings of the quite unnecessary Allen Consulting Group's feasibility study into the proposal. The report of that study, which was originally planned to be delivered by January, is now apparently, according to this morning's news, weeks away, according to Ms Carnell. Mr Speaker, can the Chief Minister say why she has pre-empted the Allen so-called feasibility study by including this allocation for the Belconnen pool in the capital works program? Is the Chief Minister aware of the contents of the Allen study?

MS CARNELL: The question was whether I am aware of what is in the Allen study. The answer is no. I am not. The reason that we put it in - and I might go into a little bit of a lecture - is that budgets are about planning. This particular budget is for the next financial year. It goes from July this year through to June next year. If we do not put it in and the Allen Consulting Group says, "Yes, you should go ahead", what then happens, Mr Speaker? There is not any money. If there was no money for a whole 12 months - and not just 12 months from now but right up until the end of June next year - that would not be good planning, would it?

Members interjected.

MR SPEAKER: Order, please! The Chief Minister is answering the question.

MS CARNELL: Instead of doing what Mr Stanhope would do - and that is obviously nothing - we decided - - -

Mr Stanhope: That is what you did. Mr Stefaniak turned the sod. You have done nothing.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Stanhope! Would you please be quiet. You have asked your question. The Chief Minister is now giving you an answer. You may not like the answer but she is giving you an answer.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am not surprised that he is embarrassed. Obviously, Mr Stanhope's approach to budgeting would be to wait until we get the Allen report, which I am told is a few weeks away - and not put anything in the capital works - - -

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