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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 593 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Indeed it is, but Mr Quinlan has said that we will be putting back $10 million. If he is referring to that $10 million, obviously it is going to be more than $10 million, is it not, Mr Quinlan? We have nothing but a giggle. I told you that the site was good for a giggle, Mr Speaker.

It may be that Mr Quinlan is referring to the $10 million that the government has decided to reduce ACT taxes and charges as part of the draft budget, which is a matter before Mr Quinlan's committee at the moment. It seems that this reference to a $10 million only hand back by the government reveals some sort of misapprehension on Mr Quinlan's part that the $10 million was a one-off. Of course, the $10 million reduction that the government is proposing in ACT government taxes and charges is a permanent reduction. It will continue and be removed from the territory's budget base forever, unless those opposite are promising by their attack to undo the effect of this tax reduction.

Mr Hargreaves: Here comes a Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: I would like to know what your position is. We have had very few indications of what your position is. I know that you are waiting for the May budget to come down. You lot can promise to do away with this $10 million give away of the government's without its costing you anything, because it is costing us $10 million to do it. So, if the lot opposite promise to cancel the $10 million reduction in taxes which the government has already proposed, they will save $10 million, but they will not be doing it.

We were told when the promise to reduce revenue by $10 million was made that it was a "pathetic attempt to buy votes". Later we were told that the $10 million was not enough to be giving back to the people of the ACT. Apparently it is pathetic because it is not big enough; there should be more. Mr Speaker, I am reminded of the story of Goldilocks and the three bears, except that in this case you might say that it is the story of Teddy and the three bears.

Members interjecting-

MR SPEAKER: Order! I want to hear the fairy story, please.

MR HUMPHRIES: At the first taste of the $10 million, Teddy says, "No, no, it is too hot." On the second taste he says, "No, no, it is too cold, it should be hotter." Presumably, on the third taste when he says that it will be just right will be when Mr Quinlan is Treasurer of the ACT. However, in the meantime, people should be aware that what Mr Quinlan and his colleague rail against is something that they are not prepared to promise to undo. Mr Speaker, presumably we will have to see that coming forward in the course of the coming few months of this campaign. If you think that the promise we have made to reduce taxes by $10 million is not enough, how much are you going to reduce taxes by?

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