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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 1414 ..

MR QUINLAN: The major concern with the budget is the losses on investments. $63 million was factored into the budget. We discussed the ins and outs of the numbers, but I do not think there was any dispute that we are not going to get anywhere near that in receipts this year. That leaves a significant black hole in the budget.

Pitching your expenditure lines at a high level of receipts from both stamp duty and land tax, as Mr Tennent observed, can create a black hole in the future when things normalise. I think there is an expectation that to some extent things will normalise. The commentators are talking today because interest rates have just gone up by 25 points and it is variously accepted that interest rates will rise again. Commentators on the same radio station were talking this morning about the probability of an increase of about 1 per cent overall. I think Mr Tennent went on to discuss that. The radio was in the background at the time as I had a tradesman in the house.

I accept that stamp duty receipts have been at a high, but that is the sum total of it. I have never said that stamp duty receipts have not been at a high. Thank you for filling out the thesis I have put forward that you struck a budget in a very good year as if all years to follow would also be very good years. That seemed to me to be a little irresponsible, but it was an election year and you reacted as if it were an election year. But you did not show any long-term thought or any long-term consideration for the territory.

MR HUMPHRIES: I ask a supplementary question. Minister, how much greater than budget estimates is Treasury saying to you revenue from stamp duty and land tax is going to be? That is, how much more than the amounts specified in the budget is Treasury expecting to collect from stamp duty and land tax?

MR QUINLAN: I will get you the number by the end of the day. I cannot pull off the top of my head exactly how receipts will stack up by the end of the year against the initial budget.

MR SPEAKER: Before we move to the next question, can I acknowledge the participants from the University of the Third Age who are in the gallery.

Chief Minister

MS DUNDAS: My question is to the Chief Minister. As you may be aware, Chief Minister, there was a gathering of tavern owners and workers out the front of the Assembly today. They were out at the front of the building because they tell me that you, your office and your government have refused to meet with them. Chief Minister, can you please explain why you are refusing to meet with these small business people from Ginninderra?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Ms Dundas, for the question. There a number of tavern owners from around the ACT-

Mr Humphries: Especially your electorate.

MR STANHOPE: There are tavern owners in my electorate but the issue that they are pursuing is an issue that is dear to the heart of all tavern owners in the ACT and dear to the heart of all hotel owners and proprietors in the ACT-they want poker machines.

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