Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1145 ..

do. My concern is about the slashing of the NCA, which is not an efficiency saving, potentially the complete cutting of ADFA, which is not an efficiency saving, and the cutting of CSIRO, which is much more than an efficiency saving and seems to go against the idea of improving productivity. These could be serious cuts for Canberra and it is time that ACT Labor representatives took a stand for the people they are elected to represent.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.32): The stated aim of the federal government’s expenditure review is to reduce wasteful government expenditure. Surely, that is a commendable thing, but it would appear from what we have heard from those opposite that it is not, and that savings that are aimed at realigning expenditure to higher priorities and aimed at delivering more significant and ambitious reform agendas—

Opposition members interjecting—


MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for your protection against the interjections of those opposite. As I was saying, the savings are aimed at realigning expenditure to higher priorities. It is interesting that Mr Seselja, in his speech, decided that the efficiency dividends that were required of all of those cultural institutions from 1996 through to 2007 were insignificant and were worth supporting, but this year’s efficiency dividends—

Mr Seselja: Did I say that?

MR BARR: Yes. You took me to task, Mr Seselja, on the comments I made in relation to efficiency dividends for cultural institutions. It is worth noting, and I state it again—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I say to those on the opposition benches that you guys were heard in some quiet. Quieten down a bit. Mr Barr has the floor.

MR BARR: I stated that, from a tourism perspective, when the cultural institutions hold events that are held only in Canberra, that do not go on the road and that are uniquely available to the people of Australia in the ACT, we get a local tourism benefit. That is undoubtedly so. So I am quite comfortable, as the ACT’s tourism minister, with the cultural institutions in the ACT, those national institutions, holding more blockbusters and more major events that are Canberra-only. That will undoubtedly benefit our tourism industry. The greater risk to our tourism industry is from continually rising interest rates. Mr Deputy Speaker, if you look at what will impact on discretionary expenditure and the ability of people to take holidays, you should think about the impact of interest rates and inflation.

Again, I have no problem at all in repeating the comments I made. Those cultural institutions faced efficiency dividends during every year of the Howard government.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .