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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (25 March) . . Page.. 860 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

forecasts - about $14m ahead, to be exact. Importantly, our revenue was tracking above budget and our expenses slightly below. So, Mr Speaker, our budget is on track. We do seem to be meeting our forecasts, and the world does not seem to have ended, as Mr Stanhope said it was going to do. What it is showing is just how wrong Mr Stanhope and the Labor Party have been. Their doom and gloom scenario for the ACT simply has not occurred. It is a tragedy that those opposite have a leader who seems unable to see anything positive in anything that is happening here in the ACT.

Mr Stanhope, of course, had better get used to hearing his budget reply quoted back to him time and time again, because it shows a total lack of credibility. You cannot accuse the Government of fiddling the books and of creating false estimates - - -

Mr Berry: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. It may be useful for members to know that The Beverley Hillbillies is on television if they would rather go and watch that.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Do not be frivolous. Do that again and you will be warned.

MS CARNELL: I understand why those opposite are embarrassed. Their whole budget reply was based upon utter rubbish. We were elected to government and those opposite do not like it. They also do not like it that we are delivering on our promises.

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, I am shocked - it takes a lot to shock me - that the Leader of the Opposition has once again got it wrong. I ask a supplementary question. Chief Minister, in light of these revelations that our economy is growing much faster than the budget forecast, what action have you taken to discipline the Under Treasurer and his staff for failing to accurately forecast this?

MS CARNELL: That is an appropriate question. By the standards of those opposite, I should be on the phone to Mr Lilley right now saying, "Mr Lilley, you and your staff did not get it right. They were too pessimistic. I am going to suggest to them that they need to drink from that chalice of optimism that Mr Quinlan is so keen on". The bottom line here is that the budget is tracking really well, but those opposite were so far off the beam in their budget reply that it should be embarrassing to them. Maybe they should apologise to the people of Canberra.

Belconnen Pool

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the sports Minister, Mr Stefaniak. Minister, on Tuesday last you informed the Assembly that the feasibility study into the proposed Belconnen pool had been completed and would be released shortly. Could you please inform the Assembly whether the Government is considering a proposal to upgrade an existing aquatic facility in Belconnen rather than build a new pool as promised prior to the last election?

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