Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1181 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

the cost of the grant of land is therefore also nil, thus no financial transaction is actually completed, and nothing can be reflected in the financial statements.

I have a genuine question. Is the government saying that because the land came to the territory from the Commonwealth for no cost and the value is nil we can therefore never sell it? Is that correct? If that is the case, I am interested. I did not understand that to be the case. What I understand to be the case is that we have assets which we may choose to give away to support business. I want to know what the value of that choice is. That is what the committee wanted to know.

However it is presented after advice from the Auditor-General, what the committee clearly wanted to understand was the amount. It was a pretty simple request, I would have thought. If it is more complex than that and, in fact, we are not allowed to sell land that we got for nothing, I will wait to hear from the government. (Extension of time granted.)

Mr Kaine: The question is: does the land still have no value since we were not charged for it?

MS TUCKER: That is right. That is the question. Perhaps I did not make it clear. Mr Kaine says the question is: does the land have no value because we did not pay for it? I would suggest not.

I understand members do not want this debate to go for a very long time, but I just want to make another comment. We also made a recommendation about ethical investment. I have not had a chance to see how the government responded to that, but that does not matter. We can talk further. I believe this debate is going to be adjourned.

The other point I want to make clearly is that this government-I agree with Mr Quinlan-has to look at its response. If the government is seriously claiming that this draft budget process has been a genuine attempt by it to engage the community and this parliament in debate about the budget, it has failed in every way. It has not given us enough information. Neither has it given us enough time. In fact, it may not be possible to give this Assembly enough time. I have said that here before. Perhaps this draft budget process idea will work because we cannot fit it into the timetable.

For Mr Humphries to stand there and be indignant and outraged and say that we have failed and the whole committee system has been brought into disrepute by this Assembly is offensive to me, because I know how much work goes on in the committee system and I know that the committee system connected with the draft budget process has not been a wonderful success, but Mr Humphries has to take responsibility for that.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (3.46): Mr Speaker, I suppose I could forgive both Mr Quinlan and Ms Tucker for not having the same sort of historical perspective as I have of what it was like in the First Assembly and even the latter part of the Second Assembly. I cannot think of any government, certainly none of the Follett Labor governments or the Alliance government, that came up with the idea of a draft budget or the extensive community consultation which the Carnell government started before the draft budget process started two budgets ago.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .