Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2379 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

Also what is the cost of the older women's boarding house of eight independent living units for use by elder abuse victims, among other needs? Will this facility be totally funded by the SAP scheme, what other initiatives are being taken on the issue of elder abuse, and why have we not been given any details? Apart from the passing comment in a media release about an older women's boarding house, we have heard nothing-so much so that I have had to seek information about the government's action by putting a question on notice to the Assembly committee inquiry into elder abuse. This government has never given a reply to this Assembly about what it proposes to do with the report and I regard that as a serious contempt of the Assembly.

I would like to have a little more detail, rather than just something I picked up in a press release, about the older women's boarding house. It is not, of course, that the elder abuse question is exceptional but, like constructing some demented jigsaw, bits and pieces of this government's initiatives keep popping up all over the place.

Two further examples will suffice before I pass the whole mess to the Estimates Committee. Mr Treasurer, what is meant by a media comment from the Canberra Property Owners Association that there would be stamp duty exemptions from the proposed increases for groups such as the elderly? Where is this concession in the budget speech? A number of elderly constituents have contacted me, saying, "What's happening? What's this concession that we understand has been provided?"

Secondly-and, again, this is from a media statement-we find that the Health Care Consumers Association is adopting a wait and see approach in respect of whether the convalescent care offered in a six-bed ward at Calvary matches community need. Is this the convalescent step-down facility you have been boasting about? What-six lousy beds? I understand you have a ward full of such patients at Canberra Hospital. Six beds are not going to do much to relieve the pressure on the hospital. And where, please, is the detail in your budget papers about this six-bed ward in Calvary?

Treasurer, you were asked to present a financial budget, not a mystery thriller where we all have to hunt around for clues as to your government's intentions. I would like some answers to those matters. There are unknown, indeed hidden, aspects of this budget and I can only assume that the budget has been designed this way to hide the estimated $106 million that we have identified as cuts.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to comment on behalf of Mrs Cross, and I quote:

Mr Speaker, I have noted Mr Quinlan repeatedly using the terms "responsible" and "honest" to describe his fiscal effort.

Let us briefly consider his budget from that perspective.

During the last election, I did not see the policy that spelled out the raft of tax increases that are contained in this Budget.

I must have missed the press release that said, "A vote for Labor will mean more and higher taxes-for everyone."

I think that probably takes care of Mr Quinlan's disingenuous claims of honesty in just two sentences, Mr Speaker.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .