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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1152 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

People are against it because it adversely affects them and because they do not like to be told something with no notice. So the people that it does not affect do not like it, and the people it adversely affects definitely do not like it. With that I will conclude, Mr Speaker, and I commend the amended motion to the Assembly.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Appropriation Bill 2000-2001 (No 3)

Debate resumed.

MR QUINLAN (12.03): I shall not take long. I think this is a better road than the former proposition of ramming through Appropriation Bill (No 2) in toto and therefore curtailing the deliberations of the Finance and Public Administration Committee. Through Appropriation Bill (No 3) we facilitate the payment of GST for non-government schooling grants and we facilitate the implementation of the extension of the first home owners grant from $7,000 to $14,000 for eligible applicants in an attempt, I think, to boost the building industry in Australia as the economy falls off the pace.

I do note in advice that the Prime Minister intends this extension to be scheduled from March 2001 through to December 2001. You would have to ask yourself: is this an election year and is the election to occur before 31 December?

Mr Humphries: You are too cynical, Ted.

MR QUINLAN: I know, and I wasn't when I came here, Mr Humphries. Mr Speaker, we are happy to support the passage of Appropriation Bill (No 3).

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (12.04), in reply: Mr Speaker, I thank the opposition for its support for this bill. The government was cognisant of the pressure that would be placed on a committee if it was required to report to the Assembly today as was our original intention. The government originally had intended to come back on the Thursday afternoon of the last sitting to amend the motion of appointment of the Estimates Committee to require it to report by this week. As members know, that did not occur for other reasons, and as a result there was no report this week from the committee. I accept that, but I am grateful that members are prepared to wear the passage of a bill which will deal with the most urgent matters facing the ACT's budget.

This will facilitate more leisurely analysis of the issues in the Appropriation Bill (No 2) and allow us to return to that in the May sitting. It is very clearly the government's intention that that bill should be passed in the May sitting since a number of important payments are required to be made out of that appropriation. I thank members for that courtesy of dealing with this bill today at obviously very short notice.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

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