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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2577 ..

MR BERRY (11.07): The Chief Minister swaggered in here and put much weight in her argument that we had not asked any questions and therefore one would expect that this Bill needs to pass without dissent or questions. This Chief Minister is the master of obfuscation and, over a long period of time, we have come to know that asking her questions is usually a fruitless exercise because we are never given clear answers. A classic example, the most recent one, was when this Assembly said to the Chief Minister, "We want all the documents in relation to Bruce Stadium". She has refused to give us certain important documents in relation to that matter. Do not give me any of this nonsense: "We were just waiting to receive questions from you about this matter so that we could help you out".

We did talk to people in relation to the matter. I went on a bus trip and had a look at the circuit the other day and talked to officials and others concerned with the matter. I was curious enough to want to talk to officials, not necessarily to the politicians, who would twist things to suit themselves. One of the most common questions we have been asked is about scrutiny: "Would you trust this Government to manage anything?". The answer to that question is no. Of course, you would not, because they have a horrible record. This Bill is just another example of that. I will come to that later.

Those who support the V8 supercar event and motor sport in the ACT are even sceptical about the Government's ability to put on and maintain this event. I have said on behalf of the Labor Party, as its tourism and events spokesperson, that we want this to succeed. The Government has made the decision. It is the Government's decision. Now that the decision is made and there has been a move to appropriate a massive amount of money for it, it has to succeed.

You just wonder how much ACTEW can stand. The Chief Minister wanders into this place and says to us what a great job she is doing in relation to the budget, how she has brought us back into the black and how we are back in the black. Guess where we got it all from? We bled ACTEW white. How often can ACTEW stand this transfusion of its resources into the budget generally? This is the Chief Minister who has based her success on bleeding ACTEW white. We cannot afford too many more mistakes.

In her speech to the Assembly in relation to this matter, I am glad the Chief Minister raised Bruce Stadium, because that is an issue that one must consider when one is being asked to give extra appropriations to this Government. Bruce Stadium was offered to us for $12.3m or whatever it was in the first place - not $1 more. Then it fell apart, and I will not be surprised if the bill for the Bruce Stadium, by the end of the Olympics, is approaching $60m. I reckon that is not bad. We got the promise of it being not $1 more. But we had to come back to this place with an appropriation for extra money to fund the Bruce Stadium debacle - another blight on the history of the Liberals opposite.

How can you debate this issue without thinking about the Government's performance in relation to these matters in the past? You cannot, because it is the history of extra appropriation Bills which forms the background of the Government's requests to this Assembly in the past. What about the first extra appropriation Bill that was put up by

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