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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2149 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

about-chip away at the outside and reduce all those different aspects of Totalcare to the point where it is such a shell that you sell it.

Mr Moore: Do you want me to interfere with tendering processes?

MR STANHOPE: We know that that is what the agenda is.

Mr Moore: Would you interfere with the tender process?

MR STANHOPE: In relation to this particular-

MR SPEAKER: Order, please! Mr Stanhope has the call. I do not want continued interjections from each side of the chamber.

Mr Moore: Would you interfere with the tender process?

MR STANHOPE: Name him, Mr Speaker. He is still going, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Continue Mr Stanhope.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you.

MR SPEAKER: I put up with Mr Berry for some time. I am willing to give the same margin to the government.

MR STANHOPE: Well, that is a very interesting interpretation.

MR SPEAKER: However, there is a limit to my patience. Mr Stanhope, continue.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. We have to look behind this particular initiative of the government. If we try to assess the basis on which the decision was made to support this free bus initiative over and above all others, what do we find? Ms Tucker this week moved a motion seeking a detailed analysis of the outcomes for the community of providing a free bus scheme over and above injecting an additional $27 million into the education system. The government did not want to do that. They did not want the analysis. They did not want to look at the impact or the effects, potentially, of injecting an initial $27 million into education. They were not interested.

One assumes, therefore, that they did their own analysis. I could paint the picture of the sort of analysis that was done by the Liberal Party when they made this decision. I have no doubt the cabinet was sitting around a table up in the cabinet room with a whiteboard, trying to develop its budget. It had a column of things that had to be done, expenditures that we simply could not touch. There was another column, headed how to win the election, showing the moneys to be expended to buy enough votes to climb the slippery pole back into government after the October election. They were having a little bit of strife there. They know how much ground they have to make up and somebody came up with a bright idea.

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