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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 755 ..

Emergency Services

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Minister for Justice and Community Safety. In today's Canberra Times the Minister stated that the cost of emergency services has increased by $13.084m per annum. That is each year, per annum, not an average, per annum. However, from the budget papers I have calculated an average of $1.014m rise over the past three years in operational expenses. Minister, your figure of $13m includes one-off capital costs. My question is: How much did you increase the operational costs per annum, each year, of emergency services?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. My press release on this subject has been fairly clear. What I have made clear is that the current expenditure on police and emergency services has increased to the level of $13m - in fact, to be more precise, $13.084m - since we came to government on a per annum basis. That is, annual expenditure now stands at $13.084m more than it did when we came to office. Obviously it has not been $13m from day one when we came to office. It has built up to that level over a period of four years. I have the figures in detail here on what that includes. I can obtain those if Mr Hargreaves wants them. Today we are spending on emergency services and the police in excess of $13m more per annum than we were spending when we came - - -

Mr Hargreaves: Every year? Every year? Per annum?

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, per annum.

Mr Quinlan: Purely operating.


Mr Hargreaves: Per annum?

MR HUMPHRIES: No. That is recurrent expenditure. The capital expenditure is $12.85m. If you add those two together, obviously it amounts to a lot more, but I am not claiming they are both added together. The recurrent is $13.084m. The capital, which obviously goes on year by year, over the last four years has been $12.85m.

MR HARGREAVES: I thank the Minister for the answer, most sincerely. The supplementary question, Mr Speaker, is this: How much has the Government received from the emergency services levy so far this year?

MR HUMPHRIES: I do not know how much so far this year. Obviously it is sleighted to receive $10m over the course of this financial year because that is the amount prescribed in legislation. As far as I am aware the - - -

Mr Hargreaves: I know that is how much you have budgeted for. How much so far?

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