Page 1774 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 4 May 2005

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I have to share this with you, Mr Speaker: it amuses me somewhat that I have to teach Mr Pratt the fundamentals of full-time equivalency in the same way that the Chief Minister had to teach Mr Seselja the fundamentals of accounting. One at a time we will go through this bunch of crows on the fence over there and each one of the ministers on this side will give them a lesson in fundamental accounting. Until Mr Pratt understands what a full-time equivalent is, he ought to stop making a fool of himself in this place.

Mr Pratt: What’s the truth about the under strength, John?

MR HARGREAVES: They are not under strength. What part of 68 do you not understand? You do not understand.

Mr Pratt: They are under strength and you are concealing the figures.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Pratt, resume your seat.

MR HARGREAVES: If you do not understand 68, you are a goose.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Pratt, Mr Hargreaves, stop squabbling.

Disability services—taxi fare subsidy

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Mr Hargreaves. Minister, what is your government’s rationale for reduced funding, by way of your community service obligation, from $962,000 to $760,000 as a part-subsidy for taxi fares for eligible persons with a disability?

MR HARGREAVES: If you have a good read of the budget, you will see in it that our support for people with a disability is brilliant.

Opposition members interjecting—

MR HARGREAVES: They are going to go around the budget and pick a little hole—I hope this guy stumbles into it. Mrs Burke was at the Client Guardian Forum when people pleaded with us for extra money. What did we do? We delivered $3.29 million over the next three years.

Mrs Burke: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: this is not relevant to the question. I was asking about a subsidy for taxi fares, if the minister could answer the question.

MR SPEAKER: Come to the subject matter of the question, please, minister.

MR HARGREAVES: I will, Mr Speaker. The substance of Mrs Burke’s question is the government’s financial support for people with disabilities. The government’s support for people with disabilities has extended over many millions of dollars over the years. I believe, in fact, that the response from the disability sector to this budget has been positive. I have not had one call to my office from one person in the disability sector since the budget was announced—nor in fact since those people inadvertently leaked all this stuff—to say that they were disappointed with it. In fact, I have had a few people

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