Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 912 ..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
One is the issue of the very significant changes in the bottom line of the territory over this and future financial years. The reference to technical changes in the document, changes which amount to some $158 million over the next five years, which are unexplained-completely unexplained in the document.
Treasurer, can you please explain to your predecessor, the former Treasurer, the "technical changes" included in page 10 of the budget consultation document?
Mr Humphries: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. This question was asked yesterday by a member of the opposition and the standing orders provide that a question fully answered cannot be asked again. Does Mr Quinlan want to have a second go at this question because he did not get it right yesterday, or is he admitting that an answer was not provided to the question asked yesterday?
MR SPEAKER: That is a damned-if-I-do damned-if-I-don't point of order.
Mr Humphries: That is what you are paid for, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: I do not know whether that is a relevant point of order. I am prepared to give Mr Quinlan a go at answering the question.
MR QUINLAN: If Mr Humphries' concern yesterday was representational of the concern of others on the other side of the house, I am sure that an answer could only help clarify the situation. Let me read from the document to which Mr Humphries was referring:
An update of the 2002-03 Budget and forward estimates was released to the public by the previous Government on 2 October 2001, prior to the election. The update provided a list of known and agreed adjustments to the 2001-02 estimated outcome and forward estimates.
Table 1 provides a summary of the movement from original estimates.
Quite clearly, Mr Humphries conveyed to this place yesterday that he was mystified by a line in that table. Maybe we can help him by informing him that these were his own numbers. As I have quoted, the table provides a summary. One would have thought it unnecessary to detail again something which was the province and information of all of the Assembly in October.
Mr Humphries: You didn't know, in other words.
MR QUINLAN: It does seem to me, Mr Humphries, that it was quite clear yesterday-
Mr Stanhope: Did you?
Mr Humphries: I am not the Treasurer any more.
MR QUINLAN: Just as well, by the sound of it. It was quite clear that you did not actually associate these numbers with your own press release in October, your own issued statement. I have to say that there never was such an eloquent commentary on