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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2877 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

of insurance policies in the territory increases, as does stamp duty. I hope that is not too hard for Mr Humphries to digest.

I want to address with Mr Humphries the virtual accusation that we in reply to the Estimates Committee report have stolen the idea of advisory service, that we came up with the idea on our own even though it was discussed and suggested by the Estimates Committee. Well, it wasn't. I have the Hansard in front of me. The first mention of an advisory service is in my reply to a question about how we should spend the additional stamp duty. I said that we have assisted organisations that need help-that have got to the desperate point of saying, "We've got to close down if we can't get insurance." I said that we have put them in touch with the right people and got them insured. And here is the quote of what I said:

We are actually setting up a process whereby we can advise on risk management and the risk component.

As best as I can see, this is first time it was discussed. This element of the debate is just so typical of the Humphries style in this place. I don't know whether we need to revisit standing orders but when debate in this place descends to this creation of straw men that Mr Humphries persists in on such a regular basis, we do have a problem. I fully compliment Mr Humphries on his glibness, on his capacity to put across an argument, but I have nothing but disrespect for the way he goes about verballing people and creating straw men that he can later destroy with gusto. It is about time this place matured beyond that point.

Amendment agreed to.

Proposed expenditure, as amended, agreed to.

Proposed expenditure-part 7-Central Financing Unit, $13,136,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $13,136,000-agreed to.

Proposed expenditure-part 8-Home Loan Portfolio, nil expenditure-agreed to.

Proposed expenditure-part 9-InTACT, $9,232,000 (net cost of outputs) and $9,170,000 (capital injection), totalling $18,402,000.

MS DUNDAS (6.08): One thing that I raised in estimates and that I believe I need to raise again today in relation to InTACT is a $2 million dollar budget line. I refer to page 125 of Budget Paper No 4, revised edition, which details a once only write-off of $2 million for invoices issued prior to 1 July 2001. When I asked what led to this $2 million write-off the answer was as startling as it was large. Basically, it appears that InTACT's clients-that is, ACT government agencies and departments-had been issued with false or incorrect invoices over previous years and, hence, the money was not able to be collected; that is, InTACT was able to get $2 million worth of bad debts although it has to deal with basically only one client: the ACT government. So this $2 million was variously placed on balance sheets throughout the territory and now we have just written it off.

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