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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2250 ..

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002-2003 budget

MR HARGREAVES: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, firstly congratulations on presenting your first budget in this place yesterday.

Mr Quinlan: Thank you.

MR HARGREAVES: Oh, it's hard to be humble. Treasurer, in the Leader of the Opposition's lazy response to the budget yesterday, Mr Humphries labelled it a typical Labor budget because it's a "high taxing, high spending government". How do you respond to these claims?

MR QUINLAN: Do you think I should say "you betcha" to this one? No, sorry. Thank you, Mr Hargreaves, for the question.

Mr Cornwell: I hope you're not expressing an opinion, Mr Treasurer.

MR QUINLAN: I will try to avoid having an opinion at all, Mr Cornwell. In Budget Paper No 3, where we have the financial statements for this particular budget, members will observe that the expenditure line increases only very marginally from the expected outcome for the current financial year. And in fact if you look at the-

Mr Humphries: That's because you've added to them, with two appropriation bills.

MR QUINLAN: If you look at Budget at a glance, you will see that the expenditure for the coming year increases by 0.3 per cent over the expected expenditure for the current year. Now, to be fair, we have to concede that this government did bring down a couple of appropriation bills.

Mr Humphries: Yes, indeed.

MR QUINLAN: We certainly did. And I've been through that. Now, not all of the content of those appropriation bills is attributable to initiatives of the incoming government. Rather they pick up on those things that in large part the Humphries government had already committed to: expenditure on Kendell Airlines, the SACS award, the nurses EBA, which was inevitable, and the AFP EBA, which was effectively settled.

In fact, on the most objective analysis that I could bring to this, of the $51 million that we actually appropriated in bills 2 and 3, I'll cop $16 million as being attributable to us. And that $16 million also includes the $8.7 million for the hospital, which I think Mr Smyth was baying for on the day of the election-"Haven't they done it yet?" It was the night of the election: "They're elected-where's the money at the hospital?"

If you take that into account and therefore you draw back and say, "Well, in that case, what is the expected expenditure attributable to the budget of the current financial year," you would get about $2,175,000,000. And that is about 1 per cent lower than the expenditure predicted for next year.

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