Page 130 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 15 February 2006

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happened to come from the previous government. That would be a very erroneous assumption to make.

There is not a table of unencumbered cash in your 2001 budget, but there certainly is a cash flow statement. I refer you to the bottom line of that. It will show that cash is going to be run down by close to $9 million. That, of course, is within the context of the very large omissions from that budget, some of which Mr Stanhope referred to. For example, there was the nurses’ EBA and other EBAs. In fact, even though salaries were depressed, I think you had factored in an annual salary incrementation of about 1.25 per cent. Not only were salaries depressed, but it was quite clear that the commonwealth service was increasing salaries at a fairly significant rate, and they were virtually setting the benchmark within which the ACT would have to operate.

If the point of your question is: have we frittered away a legacy that was left to us in the beginning, the answer is certainly no. In fact, the legacy that we got was a budget that did not, for example, include the $111 million you had at that stage as the estimate for the jail. That was not in the budget. Therefore, one presumes, it was not in the cash flow statement. If you factor in a couple of the things that I have just pointed out, you will realise that the unencumbered cash, with an adjusted budget for reality, would have well and truly been getting into the negative.

Mr Mulcahy: An adjusted budget for reality!

MR QUINLAN: Go to one page of the 2001 budget, the cash flow statement, and have a look.

Mr Mulcahy: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I have sat patiently now for three minutes waiting for the Treasurer to actually answer two very explicit questions. Like his colleague the Chief Minister, he seems to be in reflective mode. I would like an answer to the question about unencumbered cash. Has it been used to fund current expenditure? Now that it has all gone, how will future losses be funded?

MR SPEAKER: He is talking about unencumbered cash. He has been ever since he got to his feet.

MR QUINLAN: You have tossed some pretty snide remarks—

Mr Mulcahy: Just answer the question. If you cannot answer it, take it on notice.

MR QUINLAN: across the table and tried to imply, with your description of yourself as asking searching questions and all that sort of thing and having a shot at the Chief Minister about—

Mr Mulcahy: When did I ask you that?

MR QUINLAN: All you have to do is go and read. You have capital budgets, you have capital expenditure, you have operating statements and you have cash flow statements. You could do it on an envelope. If it was not that easy—

Mr Mulcahy: Why don’t you want to answer it?

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