Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2508 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
appropriation bill. Today you've demonstrated that you don't know the difference between cash management and accounting, the difference between recurrent and capital expenditure.
You've got evidence now in front of you to demonstrate that the events that have occurred in recent times are not atypical, and you've got the hide, I bet, to put the press release out now: "Don't know what they're doing. Blah, blah, blah."It is an appeal to people's lack of understanding. People don't understand the complexities of accounting or how finances can be fluid. But there ain't no profit in me bodgying the figures, giving you wrong figures.
We've told you in this place a couple of times that officially it's $60 million, it could be $100 million, it could be more. Only time will tell. There has been quite clearly a history that things improve towards the end of the year. Let's hope it happens again. How about we celebrate!
There were a few other things said yesterday that I didn't quite address and that are associated with this matter. I think you, Mrs Burke, were one of those who were saying, "You've made all this money; why don't you do so and so?"Again, there's a fundamental lack of understanding between having the heap of dough but setting trajectories out forever, indefinitely. You can't actually put in place programs unless you know you've got continuous funding for those programs. You can't actually live just in the present; you must take account of the future.
The budget is our best endeavours. It won't be right. I'll say it now: it won't be right. There's probably not a damn line in it that will fall out exactly, unless it's the grant line where we just write the cheques and make someone else fit the circumstances. But circumstances will change. For God's sake, can there be just some flexibility of thought in this place instead of the "Ha, ha, it's different. Nya, nya, nya". Let's go and paint the picture.
Mr Stefaniak: Well, you've got the money, Ted. You can build the prison, mate. Pass my sentencing package to slot a few crims in there and pass his corrections package which will rehabilitate them.
MR QUINLAN: If I might allow myself to be diverted: Mr Stefaniak, that's one of my major concerns. Build it and they will fill it.
In regard to the numbers: you have what I have. You also have perspective; you have context. For God's sake, look in context at what you get from time to time.
MR SMYTH(Leader of the Opposition) (5.30), in reply: Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I thank the Treasurer for the document.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Inquiries Amendment Bill 2002 (No 2)
Debate resumed from 21 August 2002, on motion by Ms Dundas: