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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (13 October) . . Page.. 3059 ..

Mr Berry: Compared to you they are.

Mr Stanhope: Mr Kennett is a paragon of virtue beside you two.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Interjections are not helping. You are deflecting the Chief Minister's answer as she responds.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I will finish by saying that we are right behind the Olympics. We believe this is an important project - - -

Mr Berry: And we are not going to answer any more questions.

MR SPEAKER: You will not have the chance to ask one if you keep that up.

MS CARNELL: This is important for Canberra, and I cannot believe that those opposite continue to try to undermine something that is probably the biggest single event this city will ever have an opportunity to be part of.

Financial Management Act

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Treasurer. During this morning's debate on the Financial Management Act - and I will try not to reflect on the debate itself - the Treasurer was able to put an estimate of the cost of proposed changes to that act at $100,000, as I recall. Can the Treasurer inform the Assembly of the Government's estimate or his estimate of the cost of the draft budget process to be introduced this year? To be fair, you can leave out the costs of the additional process.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I cannot provide that information now, but I am happy to - - -

Mr Quinlan: Why?

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, I do not carry around costings for things that have not been costed. Mr Speaker, the Government was asked by this Assembly to produce a new approach to budgeting in the Territory and, in particular, to allow a process which permitted members of the Assembly to participate in the drafting of a final budget. That was an Assembly committee's recommendation to the Government. We believe it is probably going to cost a bit of money to do that. I suggest it would cost rather more than $100,000, but we have accepted that the Assembly has put this forward as a reasonable proposition.

We see benefit in it. Providing members take the opportunity presented to participate constructively in the process - and I emphasise the word "constructively" - we think it is worth spending that money. If you want to know how much it is going to cost, I am happy to try to find out for you. But that was the request of the Assembly. Before we met a cost which was rather less demonstrably in the public interest, if I might reflect for a moment on the vote of the Assembly earlier today - - -

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