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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2072 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

I close by observing that, because of the change in accounting treatment to which I alluded, $91 million has been stacked into Mrs Carnell's $344 million loss. With the changed accounting treatment, we have $22 million being added to the pot every year. If you had the same accounting treatment that you used in 1995-96 just for superannuation adjustments, you would have a deficit of $10 million right now. I guess that $10 million down or $12 million up is not really all that important in the budget, but it does go to the point of showing up the contrived result that we have here. Overall, it is a shame that it is as much your problem in the long term as it is ours. As I said, you missed an opportunity, I think.

MR CORBELL (5.21): Mr Speaker, there are a number of areas relating to this specific appropriation that I would like to comment on this evening, but first I have some overarching comments to reiterate the comments of my colleague Mr Quinlan. It has been interesting to note the progress of the Humphries government since the election of the new Chief Minister late last year. If there is anything that could be said to be the general theme reverberating throughout many sectors of the Canberra community, it is that the government is a government which is stagnating and stagnating fast, a government which is failing to renew itself and a government which is failing to provide the direction and leadership that the city needs.

Those are not just words that might be useful for the Labor Party, as the opposition, to advance; they are the words, the comments and the thoughts of many people who approach us in the community when they say, "You might not always have agreed with Kate Carnell, but there was a bit of vigour there. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for the current Chief Minister and this government."

Mr Humphries: You can always bring her back.

MR CORBELL: You have had a bit of time as Chief Minister. Perhaps that is a vote of no confidence in you. Mr Quinlan's comments about missed opportunity are quite important. I would like to elaborate on those comments; not only about missed opportunity, but also about poor process, a process which does not adequately protect the interests of the ACT ratepayer, and misplaced priorities.

Firstly, I want to focus on a couple of the changes to the proposed appropriation as outlined in Budget Paper No 4. The first of those relates to the government's so-called initiative about having a community planning adviser, which was a much trumpeted initiative, although I fail to understand why it is in the Chief Minister's Department. The appointment of a community planning adviser is trumpeted as an initiative which will provide the community with independent planning advice on issues to do with engagement in the planning process. It seems to me to be a somewhat belated attempt to address the criticism which not only members of the Labor Party but also other members of this place and many people outside this place have been making about the planning process, that is, that the planning process is not one in which the community has confidence at the moment, that it is not one that the community believes delivers in the public interest.

Instead of acknowledging that there is a substantial need to reform the administration of planning of the city to restore community confidence and to achieve that through the establishment of an independent planning authority, the government has come up with

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