Page 388 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 15 February 2005

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MR STANHOPE: That will do. I will stop there then. I was going to go on, but I will stop there.

Bushfires—coronial inquest

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, I refer to an ABC Online story of 2 February 2005 about the blowout in the ACT government’s legal advice and representations budget. The story concludes:

Mr Stanhope does not deny the expenditure but says all legal costs are covered by insurance.

This statement is contradicted by the note in the quarterly report for this budget item. I will quote it:

The worse than target situation for costs is a result of the significant additional expenditure which has been incurred in relation to the coronial inquest into the bushfire. For the current financial year, there has been no budget allocation to offset expenses and this impacts on the overall result of the Government Solicitor’s office.

Why did your own department’s quarterly report not state that the costs were being covered by insurance if your statements of 2 February 2005 to the media were accurate?

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I thank the member for his question. He is a very recent recruit to this place and he might not yet understand that a quarterly report on expenditure deals with expenditure. Other reports deal with revenue. Expenditure goes out; revenue comes in. You are dealing with an expenditure report, Mr Seselja. It details costs paid.

There are also revenue reports, which detail costs made. Costs made in relation to insurance are not expenditure; they are revenue. You really have to understand these things; I am sure you will come to do so in time. You are talking about a quarterly expenditure report. They are costs that go out. Other moneys come in. That is revenue.

Australian National University

MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Economic Development. I ask whether he can advise the Assembly of the recent government decision in relation to commercial developments around the Australian National University.

MR QUINLAN: Thank you, Mr Gentleman. No doubt the house will be interested to know that in December of last year the government agreed to a proposal from the ANU to jointly develop an education, research, accommodation and commercial precinct adjoining the current boundary of the ANU in City West.

This is a project of grand scale, unusual in the territory, and represents a very significant step forward on two fronts. The first is the revitalisation of City West and, in conjunction with the government’s master plan, the ANU precinct will inject a sense of activity and life into that area of town, which is rightfully the focus of our efforts in this area.

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