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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (9 April) . . Page.. 860 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Finally, Mr Quinlan came back to this argument that really the appropriation bill was designed to clean up the former government's mess. He has run that line, and he is entitled to stick to it, Mr Deputy Speaker. We hear that line coming back all the time.

I think this is a short-term argument. I would ask Mr Quinlan to ask himself what he will do, this time next year, when, almost inevitably, he will rise in this place to introduce Appropriation Bill (No 2) or (No 3) for the 2002-03 appropriation or budget. What government will he blame, then, for that?

Mr Quinlan: Yours.

MR HUMPHRIES: He might well blame us for that, but as each year goes past and he does the same thing year after year-

Mr Quinlan: I am going to just keep blaming you! Mate, you were doing it after six years!

MR HUMPHRIES: As each year goes past, it becomes less and less credible to argue that the former government has somehow upset the present government's budget for that year. Given that the government itself will have framed the budget and brought it down, it will have taken into account whatever it sees as pressures from previous years. If we run the line that ipso facto, a second appropriation must be the fault of the people who framed the budget for the year.

Mr Quinlan: You are testing the law of logic again.

MR HUMPHRIES: Well, that is what you have said.

Mr Quinlan: It did not make the case universally-that made the case today.

MR HUMPHRIES: But you have not made the case specifically, either. You have not presented a reason why any of the particular items in this bill should have been dealt with in last year's appropriation. You have not made that case. You have not presented any argument for it. You have just said-

Mr Quinlan: Do you want me to put the other ones later? Make up your mind! Is it sooner or later?

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order please, Mr Quinlan.

MR HUMPHRIES: You have said that these things were not dealt with in the original budget; you then dealt with them in the second appropriation, and therefore you made some mistake-it is a mess. In fact, what you actually put before the committee said that these were mechanical matters-issues which arise as a result of the evolution of any budget over the course of a given year.

Mr Quinlan: The first home owners grant, yes.

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