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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (11 April) . . Page.. 1014 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

As an example, last year's budget almost doubled the normal level of annual capital budget-two years in one. At the same time, it set us on a path of running down the territory's cash to virtually zero, over the space of the budget-not a really responsible route to take. There was a government under a lot of pressure. There was a government that had-I was going to say "had been discredited"-actually discredited itself in a number of activities.

Speaking through you, Mr Speaker, to Mr Humphries and to Mr Cornwell: at the time of the election I was insisting that you come out with estimates. I was saying, "I don't think the situation is as good as you are painting it." Lo and behold, it ain't as good as you were painting it!

There are a number of pressures which exist right now. It will all come out in the fullness of time. However, if you, on the other side of the Assembly, believe that the economy is in great shape and will just expand and expand from now on, you are delusional.

After the exhibition earlier this week, when Mr Humphries was complaining about the lack of detail in his own numbers-because he thought they were mine-I am starting to understand that maybe you are not delusional but you just don't know, and you never knew. I will point out, through time, just how irresponsible the past budget was.

I would love to be the Treasurer who came in and just spent more. I would love to be the Treasurer who came in and spent more on capital works in the coming year than you did-

Mr Humphries: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I do not mind if there is a meander all over the world on this question, but the question was about why cuts were not being targeted to what Mr Quinlan calls the 10 per cent edge, which is discretionary. Is he going to get to that answer, at some point, or are we going to sit here for another quarter of an hour? Is he actually going to get to this answer at some point in this question?

MR QUINLAN: Do you want me to answer that question?

MR SPEAKER: It is up to you to respond to the question.

Mr Humphries: It is a question of relevance.

MR QUINLAN: Am I prepared to stand here for another 15 minutes? The answer is yes.

MR SPEAKER: I think Mr Humphries wants you to answer the question with his words, but I am sure you will want to use your own.

MR QUINLAN: I will give you the answer, eventually.

Mr Smyth: I have a point of order as to relevance. Mr Quinlan, in his election promises, said that they would limit themselves to four-minute answers. Is he breaking another election promise?

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