Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 3 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 717 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
reporting of comments made, sometimes in parenthesis, and this has become a vehicle for the reporting of simplistic remarks.
As I said, I commend this report to people who are genuinely interested in what is happening to the territory finances. I also commend it to the commentators and to the Assembly. I move:
That the report be noted.
MR HUMPHRIES (Leader of the Opposition) (3.50): Mr Speaker, not surprisingly I want to speak to this report. We were all no doubt stunned and surprised to see Mr Quinlan come forward in this place today with a report that supposedly turns an operating result of about $12 million into a deficit of $5 million.
Mr Corbell: What are you suggesting?
MR HUMPHRIES: I am suggesting, Mr Corbell, that this report is not right, and I will explain why I think it is not right.
Mr Corbell: You're suggesting much more than that, Mr Humphries. You just don't have the guts to say it.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the fact-
Mr Corbell: You're suggesting much more than that. You just don't have the guts to say it.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I heard Mr Quinlan in silence. I ask for the same courtesy from Mr Corbell.
Mr Corbell: It's just slimy really-it really is slimy.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MR HUMPHRIES: You can hurl abuse all you like, Mr Corbell, but the reality is I think this report needs to be looked at very carefully.
Mr Quinlan: Well, who are you going to get to do that?
MR HUMPHRIES: You will find out. There are plenty of people around this town who would love to have a second look at the books brought forward by this government. There are plenty of people in the private sector and other areas of the economy, such as people in the construction industry, who, particularly after what has happened in recent days, would be more than happy to see some hard look being given to the government's figures.
As I say, Mr Quinlan was very insistent before the election that the books needed to be looked at. He was not sure he was getting the full picture and he wanted to have a good look to make sure that the books were not being cooked. Lo and behold, he produces