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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 384 ..

MR SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

MR SMYTH: Mr Berry asked: have we mismanaged? The answer is no; we have had a reform process to try to bring ACT Forests into modern work practice. And this is not reform that is going on only in the ACT; this is reform that has been going on all around the country because the forestry industry in general was not as productive as it could have been. We want to give it that opportunity. We know that there are investors who will invest in the region substantial amounts of money that will secure the industry long term and create more jobs, but to do that the fundamentals have to be right in ACT Forests-and they are not. Our overheads are double the national average. We have to reduce those overheads or put at risk the entire industry in the ACT and the region.

Multicultural broadcasting

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Chief Minister, Mr Humphries. I understand that the Labor Party on the weekend made a commitment to increase funding for multicultural broadcasting in Canberra if it wins government in October. Could you, as Minister for Community Affairs, detail the current level of government support for multicultural broadcasting in the ACT?

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, I can indicate that there are quite significant levels of support for multicultural broadcasting in the ACT. I am surprised that I have to justify that in the present circumstances of some suggestion by the Labor Party that there needs to be an increase in funding because of the inadequacy of the present level of funding.

I was present on Saturday morning at a public meeting to award certificates to graduates of a multicultural broadcasting training program and a commitment was made by Mr Vic Rebikoff, a Labor candidate for Ginninderra in the coming election-at least, he is at this stage-that there would be increased financial support by a Stanhope Labor government, if elected.

I was surprised to hear that because Mr Stanhope had said many times in this place that there would be no commitments made on spending promises until they got to see the budget in May. I wondered why that was happening, so I issued a media release yesterday in which I challenged Mr Stanhope to spell out what the extra support for multicultural broadcasting in the ACT would be under a Stanhope Labor government. I was amazed that in response to that suggestion-

Mr Corbell: I rise to a point of order, Mr Speaker. The question related specifically to the government's level of funding for multicultural broadcasting. The minister's answer is not in order in drawing a comparison.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the question asked of me was about the promise made by the Labor Party at the weekend.

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, the question was not about the Labor Party's commitment. In fact, it would be out of order for the Chief Minister to answer such a question, because he cannot do so. Mr Speaker, the question related to the current level of support given to multicultural broadcasting in the ACT by the current government.

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