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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (23 September) . . Page.. 3555 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

encourage investment and economic development in this territory. What we have is what I would call an economic policy vacuum.

One quite disturbing development under this Treasurer is the sloppy way in which public policy is developed and then promulgated. Let me mention just two examples of what I mean. Firstly, there is the analysis that the Treasurer provided to support his contention that we needed to change the rating system. Most of us will remember Mr Quinlan's response to a question without notice from me in the Assembly in March this year seeking details of any modelling that had been undertaken to show the likely impact of the new rating system. Mr Quinlan proudly told the assembled members of the Assembly, "The only modelling we have done is one graph."How extraordinary, just one graph! Who can forget that fabulous graph that explained how it was all going to be made so well?

The Treasurer of one of the seven states and territories in Australia admitted that, in support of a substantial change in one of the most important sources of revenue in his jurisdiction, he had produced one graph. Here it is. He still cannot explain it properly. Anyone who is really interested in the whole sad saga should go to the Public Accounts Committee hearing into the Rates and Land Tax Amendment Bill 2003 to see another example of the Treasurer's tortuous language.

Mr Deputy Speaker, a Smyth Liberal government would provide a sound economic framework within which industry in the ACT can evolve and grow. Our new creative industries would be able to thrive and prosper. Our existing industries would expand and strengthen their activities. Our territory would diversify its industry base so that we can pay for those essential services that Canberrans want, things like health, education, and law and order.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (5.36): I rise bruised, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Mr Smyth: It's a tough game.

MR QUINLAN: I know. But I have to say in a funny way that I hope that I do live to see the day that there is a Smyth Liberal government, because that would mean that I will live a very, very long time.

Having just copped that fearless, fearsome tongue-lashing from Mr Smyth, I do feel that I ought to point out a couple of things. I do admire to some extent his courage, nay bravado, in rising to speak of economics. What we have here, Mr Deputy Speaker, is a shadow Treasurer with absolutely no qualifications for the task.

Opposition members: Oh!

MR QUINLAN: A little return of serve. He has absolutely no experience for the task, and from time to time that shows. What we have here is a shadow Treasurer who, while he was pointing out my inadequacies in his speech in this place in reply to the budget, was, in fact, demonstrating to the Assembly that he did not know the difference between a budget and an appropriation bill. This is this year. This is the Leader of the Opposition.

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