Page 1770 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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mismanagement of this lot over a period of six years, we are going to have to do something about it. And we are doing something about it.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves has the floor.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The fact is that the savings to be generated by the Department of Urban Services as part of this budgetary process will be addressing the over-administration and over-management of municipal and enterprise services.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. I have now been listening for three minutes and he has not attempted to answer the question, which is: how many of the 260 jobs? He has said nothing about jobs.

MR SPEAKER: I think you will have to listen for another couple of minutes!

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you, Mr Speaker. And of course the maladministration that these people came up with, for which they have become very well renowned, not only has to do with jobs, it also has to do with the way in which we do things. It talks about the inefficient contracts these people were stewards over—locking us into contracts that we have had to pay through the nose for.

We do not need to do half of that. There will of course be staff reductions within the Department of Urban Services, as there will be in all of the departments. However, we have to concentrate on doing things better, on doing things that have more focus on people services and less focus on administration for its own sake. I can say quite categorically to Mr Stefaniak: watch this space.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. That was fascinating, minister. How can you justify cutting the budget for local government services by $32.7 million over four years, when you are going to raise rates by up to 20 per cent?

MR HARGREAVES: We intend to remove inefficiencies that we inherited from this crass lot over here; we intend to streamline management processes; we are going to remove the silos that these people created; we are going to remove the culture of administration for its own sake. The answer to your question, Mr Stefaniak, as to how I can justify it, is: very easily.

Stamp duties

MR MULCAHY: Treasurer, on 20 April 2005, you signed a letter, as ACT Treasurer, to the federal Treasurer setting out further stamp duties that six states and territories had agreed to abolish. Attached to this letter were two tables: one dealing with the timetable for the abolition of the stamp duties and another that quantified the duties being abolished. We have now been told that the figures in the letter were wrong.

Treasurer, why were ACT tax cuts to the value of $37 million offered to the federal Treasurer, as proposed by the Victorian government? Did the ACT supply the correct

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