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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 98 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

I note that the consolidated financial management report presented in the Assembly today paints a rather different picture. It demonstrates, proves indeed, that the territory's financial position is very strong. The predicted result for the general government sector in the budget brought down this year for this present financial year is $12.3 million. The estimated outcome as at the end of the September quarter had risen to $38.8 million.

These results are significant, because the Treasurer suggested that to tout such figures, in the knowledge that there were some unrealised market gains coming down the line from the territory's overseas investments, was irresponsible. The fact is that the Treasurer himself has now, once again, tabled a operating result of $38.8 million in circumstances where the effect of those unrealised market gains has not been disclosed in the documents.

What conclusion are we to draw from this? Only one. Clearly, on these figures, the underlying financial position of the ACT is strong and sound; there is nothing to worry about. What happens with overseas markets is a matter outside the control of the ACT government.


MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (4.42): I do not know whether members or past members have noticed, but I am not a greater wearer of lapel badges. But I found this little fellow as I was out shopping some weeks ago. I was looking for a little white whale. This is a little purple whale. Apparently all the white whales are dead. This fellow, I choose to believe, is a white whale flushed with success.

We will take a studied and serious look at the financial position, Mr Humphries, and we will come back to this place with the facts. I am sure you will spend a considerable amount of time trying to reinvent history, as you did last time. I intend to bring to this place a report on the finances of the ACT as at 30 October, immediately after the election, to give a true indication of what you left behind.

Greenfields development

MRS DUNNE (4.44): Mr Speaker, I would like to use this debate to express my regret at the decision of Mr Corbell not to release the advice he was given on land, planning and development. The fact that the policies of the incoming government leave the ACT potentially exposed to a $75 million funding outlay is of significant importance to the people on this side and to the people of the ACT.

The stated reason that this is an incoming government brief stands in stark contrast to the long and loud touting of a code of conduct for good government, open and accountable government, and clear and unambiguous policies on planning. I refer members to the debacle of greenfields planning that we saw in 1993-94, particularly the exercise on Harcourt Hill. I hope that with this government we will not see a repeat of these things. I urge Mr Corbell to review his decision.

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