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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 224 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

The Treasurer of the time had informed us that he had costed the government's commitments, and that they had still left an $11 million buffer-the absolute minimum. Of course, just coincidentally, it was the buffer that was left after his particular commitments were made, while he made quite unsupportable and exaggerated claims as to the commitments that the Labor Party had made.

In answer to the question, I can inform this house that, immediately on this government being sworn in, it was informed of a likely negative impact on the bottom line for the current financial year in excess of $60 million.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Deputy Speaker, in light of the discrepancy between Mr Humphries' statements, can the Treasurer advise the house of the veracity of Mr Humphries' claim on radio on 6 December this year that he made provision for the capital costs of a medical school?

MR QUINLAN: This is one of life's coincidences, I guess, Mr Deputy Speaker. More recently, in discussions on the funding of a medical school at the ANU, Mr Humphries is recorded as having stated that "there was money put aside by the former government for the capital costs of upgrading the ANU's facilities or hospital facilities to accommodate the needs of a medical school".

Mr Humphries: That was not what I said, actually. Is that a direct quote from me?

MR QUINLAN: It is a transcript.

Mr Humphries: Is it a direct quote from me or is it what I am supposed to have said?

MR QUINLAN: If your name is Humphries.

Mr Humphries: No, is it a direct quote from me? No.

MR QUINLAN: Curnow, "Was there money there for it?" Humphries, "There was money put aside," and so on. It was a quote. I have to say I heard it and discussed it with Mr Hargreaves, then he thought of the question.

During the last Assembly, I have to say that we in the Labor Party got used to little shocks, little pearls from Mr Humphries, that did not seem to accord with the facts as we knew them. I think, today, Mr Deputy Speaker, we have in front of us two specific examples where Mr Humphries has not provided information that is in any way accurate. I think it is a matter of concern that the said Mr Humphries is both Leader of the Opposition and shadow Treasurer.

Nurses strike

MR SMYTH: My question is for the Chief Minister as Attorney-General and Minister for Health. In the lead-up to the October election, the Industrial Relations Commission ordered the nurses union not to strike. This was in line with a ruling they had made in September banning wildcat strikes. The nurses at the Canberra Hospital subsequently went on strike on 19 October. Given your personal aversion to, and pursuit of, those who have broken the law, what action have you taken?

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