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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2578 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

this Chief Minister? It was because she overspent in health. The overspending just went on and on despite the promises. Every appropriation Bill that has come before this place has had as a background disastrous financial management. You cannot possibly consider this appropriation Bill without looking to history.

I just go back to the questions that we might ask. We wanted a public scrutiny process so that we could examine officials publicly in order that we could publicly expose all of the issues concerned with this expenditure of money on behalf of the Territory. The Assembly, in its wisdom or otherwise, decided not to support our request. We think that was a mistake and we will keep saying that.

Mr Humphries: And I will keep saying, Mr Speaker, that it is a breach of standing orders to refer to a vote of a Assembly in that way, to say that we made a mistake in not having an estimates committee.

MR BERRY: Okay, Mr Speaker, I withdraw that. We will keep saying it outside this place.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you.

Mr Humphries: Good. I am sure that people will listen to you outside of this place.

MR BERRY: They do not listen to us inside, and you would expect that from those opposite. What are some of the questions that we may have asked if our attempt to get a scrutiny process had not failed? How long has CTEC been involved in negotiations in relation to the matter? Did it go back before the budget?

Ms Carnell: Yes.

MR BERRY: Mrs Carnell says, "Yes, it did go back before the budget". Why was it not raised in the budget context? Is this another example of poor financial management, where things were kept quiet in the budget context but later on we have this extra flash-in-the-pan appropriation Bill put before us in a promotional context, trying to put us in a position where we could not possibly scrutinise the process? You have to be sceptical about the Government's performance on these issues. We have a history upon which to base our judgment. I think it is fair for us to be sceptical and negative about the Government's ability to deal with these issues. As I said, we want this to succeed. There is a lot of territory money involved. But it is placed in some doubt, given the Government's performance in the past.

We have other things to base these concerns on. We have all of the promises that were going to flow from the Feel the Power campaign. This is all in the Tourism and Events Corporation. We have all the promises that were going to flow from the changed approach to Floriade. We now know that Floriade is in danger in alternate years in the future. I wonder what will happen to the Floriade money. Will it go to the V8 supercar race? Those are questions which I think are quite legitimate.

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