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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 164 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

detention and a temporary remand centre. This will enable the delivery of remand services in the ACT commensurate with the growth rates currently being experienced.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, when I made the decision to enter politics nearly five years ago, it was done with a clear set of objectives and principles in mind. While time and circumstance have an effect at the edges of those objectives and principles, the core remains. That core is a strong sense that, above all, government needs to be responsible and accountable and that these principles apply daily, not just every three years when we go to the polls.

It is also a belief that the economy is there to provide for the people and that we should always guard against going down the path of people becoming subservient to the economy. It is a view of society that is automatically and instinctively inclusive, where the environment exists for every person to participate and grow as an individual and as a member of society and that the community and government encourage this as a matter of course. These are core values. They are Labor's core values and they will guide our approach in our term of office.

John F Kennedy once bemoaned his political opponents by describing them as having the "comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought". Mr Speaker, in the context of President Kennedy's words, I conclude by saying to members: with your help, we can achieve much for Canberra and I look forward to sharing the discomfort of thought with you all.

I present the following paper:

Future Directions-Ministerial Statement, December 2001.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (4.07): I would like to speak to a couple of aspects of this paper. I welcome the outline of what the government proposes to do in the areas of responsibility that Mr Quinlan covers. It is pleasing to see that set out. Some would say that it is a reiteration of what was put forward in the election campaign, but it is pleasing to see a little more flesh added to the bones.

Mr Speaker, the first issue that I want to address is the question of the operating result for the present financial year. I have had a quick perusal of the Auditor-General's financial audits for the year ending 30 June 2001 and they seem to confirm my earlier preliminary view that the operating position was very strong, very sound, as far as last financial year is concerned. There was a $100 million operating result for the last financial year. That may refer to the whole of the territory, rather than the general government sector; I have not been able to determine that. Whatever it refers to, it sounds pretty good and I am very happy to adopt that figure, as you might well imagine, Mr Speaker. No doubt, the result from last year is very strong. Of course, that money is sitting in the government's accounts, ready for use on other things in the future.

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