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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 865 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

exert considerable influence on its present position. Every Treasurer who has risen in this place-

Mr Quinlan: How good are you?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, if I could ask for some-

MR SPEAKER: Mr Quinlan.

MR HUMPHRIES: I know you do not want to listen to this but you have asked the question. Every Treasurer, Labor or Liberal, who has risen in this place has tried to influence the factors affecting the ACT's economic outlook by the things they do in their budget. Every Treasurer has done that and they have said that they have been doing that. Why should we be any different? If by some chance, after the October election, Mr Quinlan happens to be over here sitting where I am, he may well find that he will have to make the same sorts of plans and predictions for the ACT, the same sorts of plans to influence the factors that affect the ACT's economic outlook.

I do not believe that any government is powerless in these circumstances. Of course there are circumstances where things happen that you cannot control. I do not pretend to exercise much control over things like interest rates or the international price of oil. But I am not giving up. I am not treating the ACT as a sort of basket case, waiting for something to happen to it. We are going to act decisively to influence the circumstances in this territory and the evidence is that the influence has been pretty good so far.

Canberra Hospital-nurses

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for health, Mr Moore. Minister, I listened to your answer to Mr Stanhope with great interest. However, I feel you omitted to advise this Assembly about the progress of the government's very attractive pay offer to our nurses. Would you please do so? In particular, can you inform the Assembly of what action the unions and the ALP have taken to prevent nurses from getting better conditions and a pay rise? What will be the cost to the nurses of their actions?

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Mrs Burke should know that she cannot ask the minister for a report on what the ALP has done as it is not within his responsibility.

MR SPEAKER: The point of order is upheld, but the minister can answer the rest of the question.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, the Labor Party has tried to have an influence in this matter and, insofar as that is the case, I will touch on it, rather than coming out with policies or whatever.

MR SPEAKER: But you cannot reflect on whatever its policies might be on this matter.

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