Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2669 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
On Tuesday of this week, however, you tabled the consolidated financial management report for the year to June 2002 and, in spite of the stories of doom put about by the Chief Minister and yourself over the past few months and the prognostications of the commission of audit, the general government sector in the territory recorded a surplus of nearly $9 million. I remind the Treasurer that our budget, presented last year, originally forecast a surplus of $12 million. It was a pretty good forecast, I think, with a budget of $2 billion.
Subsequently, your government spent about $16 million in additional appropriations, which you yourself have admitted are directly attributable to your policy decisions. It could therefore be argued that the surplus we left to you was, in effect, around $25 million. Of course, that is in contrast to the $344 million loss which Labor had left to the Liberal Party on coming to government. I also remind you of your Chicken Little comments earlier this year and last year, forecasting a deficit for this year.
Treasurer, can you concede that it is just remotely possible, at this point in time, that the Liberal Party left the new Labor government in a better financial position that you might have suggested in your statements of the last nine months?
MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Humphries, for the question. I see that not much has changed and you are still clinging to the untruth that a $344 million loss occurred under the regime of Labor.
Mrs Dunne: Are you saying it was not this big, it was this big?
MR QUINLAN: You did it.
Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I will take a point of order. Would you rule that describing something I have just said as an untruth is unparliamentary?
MR SPEAKER: I would rule that that is not what he said. What he said was that you were clinging to an untruth, and I think that is a far cry from what you claim he said.
MR QUINLAN: I have previously said in this place, Mr Speaker, that anybody who stands in this house and says that Labor made a $34 million deficit is a downright liar. I have said that.
Mr Humphries: No, we never said that. We said $344 million.
MR QUINLAN: So it is not true, then. Thank you.
Mr Humphries: That is right, it is not true.
MR QUINLAN: As long as we have clarified that, because, as I have said before, anyone who stands in this place or elsewhere and says Labor delivered a $344 million deficit would be a downright liar.
Mr Humphries: That is another matter.
MR QUINLAN: I would say that, if they said it-