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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 8 Hansard (8 August) . . Page.. 2558 ..

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I hope that the young ladies from Canberra Girls Grammar will look at the front page of the newspaper tomorrow morning, because this is a really good story, a good news story, for all the people of Canberra and I hope that it will be reported as such. I suspect that people are paying up front because they are afraid that, should Labor get into office on 20 October this year, it will take that away from the people of Canberra.

Mr Quinlan: Because he put out misinformation.

MR SMYTH: It is interesting to note Mr Quinlan's comment on the scheme when the government announced it in February. He said:

This 'initiative' is nothing more than a pathetic ... to buy the votes of the people of Canberra. Whatever reputation the Government had for fiscal prudence is being washed away by a torrent of expensive election promises which will lead us back into debt.

The motorists probably have realised that at the top of Labor's hit list to fund its promises is the scrapping of the $58 reduction.

Budget forecasts

MR QUINLAN: My question is directed to the Treasurer. I have noted his concern about the lavish election promises made by Labor. He is not quite so concerned about unquantified promises to increase funding to independent schools or to address problem gambling with $1.2 million.

Yesterday the Treasurer tabled in this place the latest financial statements, the Consolidated Financial Management Report. It shows a projected surplus for the current financial year of $45.6 million, no doubt a surplus born of your blood, sweat and tears. Given that this is possibly the last report of this kind that we will see before the end-of-year statements-about a week before the election, I would punt-can you confirm that that figure takes into account the supplementary appropriations made this year, including the $30 million for HIH and the $43 million mini-budget that was brought down?

Mr Humphries: That was last financial year.

MR QUINLAN: We are talking about 2000-01. The estimated figure for that is a surplus of $45.6 million. But this place passed a $43 million mini-budget and an appropriation bill for $30 million for a HIH bail-out. Can you confirm that the figure of $45.6 million takes into account all of those appropriations so that we all know what is available as we go into an election?

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I expect that the figures have been produced in the usual reliable fashion by the Department of Treasury to take into account all of the circumstances which impact on the making of a budget and on the monitoring of a budget's progress. So I expect that it would take into account the issues that were addressed by the Assembly last financial year in the second appropriation-the mini-budget, as Mr Quinlan puts it.

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