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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3144 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Mr Speaker, it is quite obvious to the Territory and to the community that at the time we came to office the ACT faced a very serious problem with unaffordability of the services we were providing and that as a community we were living well beyond our means. As I recall that first Carnell budget, there were squeals of anxiety from those opposite about reductions in outlays and increases in revenue that the Government was generating. There were squeals of dismay about the terrible things that the Government was doing. Those things were designed to improve the - - -

Mr Quinlan: One hundred and forty seven million. Your own budget.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, if they are not interested in the question, why did they ask it?

MR SPEAKER: Order, please! Mr Humphries is trying to remember. It is quite a long way back, 1995.

Mr Quinlan: I am asking about abnormal items, really. I am waiting for him to get to those.

MR SPEAKER: It will not be helped by constant interjections, thank you.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the fact is that when we came to office we put in place in our first budget a number of measures to help improve the ACT's financial position - that is, to reduce expenditure and to increase revenue. We did that in our first budget, and we have tried to do that in every budget since then. Those opposite know that because they squealed very loudly when it happened. They cannot now pretend that we actually let go of the financial purse strings and let the financial management sort of go off the rails and the position so deteriorated between 1994-95 and 1995-96 that what was presumably, they would say, a very modest financial operating loss for that financial year suddenly blew out to a loss of $344m. Mr Speaker, if Mr Quinlan had the courage of the assertions he is making in this question, no doubt he would - - -

Mr Stanhope: Tell us about the abnormal items.

Mr Hird: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order.

MR SPEAKER: You have already asked a question, Mr Stanhope. If you want to ask something about the abnormal items, I suggest you get one of your other members to ask it, but do not interject.

Mr Hird: The Attorney-General is trying to answer the question and a barrage of - - -

Mr Stanhope: The Treasurer is trying to answer it.

Mr Hird: The Attorney-General and Treasurer is trying to answer the question, Mr Speaker, but a barrage of interjections is coming, contrary to standing orders. I ask you to bring the house to order.

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