Page 473 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 10 February 2009

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Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I ask you to reconsider your ruling. The question that was asked of the minister to which Mrs Dunne objected also related to areas that are directly within her portfolio responsibility. Either the matters fall within the minister’s portfolio responsibility or they do not.

Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The attorney is questioning your ruling. He can do that by one form and one form only, and that is to move dissent. Otherwise it is disrespectful to the chair.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order from Mrs Dunne. I accept the attorney’s discussion. The distinction I am drawing is that Ms Porter’s question, as I heard it, specifically speculated on the passage of the legislation in the Senate. Mr Smyth’s question pertained to the Treasury briefing that he was given. That is the way I heard Ms Porter’s question, and that is the way I intend to proceed.

Mr Corbell: What is the difference?

MR SPEAKER: One relates to the matters in this Assembly and one was about whether the legislation will pass in the Senate. That is how I heard it.

Mr Corbell: No, it was not.

MR SPEAKER: That is how I heard it, Mr Corbell. Do you want to dissent from my ruling or shall we just move on from that, my having explained myself?

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As all members would know, there is usually a small recurrent impact on any capital investment in the territory. That detail has not been worked through yet. Of course, that information will be available and will be provided. I presume the earliest we would do that is through the budget papers, which will show the money coming into the territory’s accounts, how we account for that and, of course, any recurrent impact of that shown through the forward estimates.

I would have to say that last week, when the Chief Minister and I had this package presented to us, we were aware that there would be a small recurrent impact with capital infrastructures on our assets, but we are prepared to wear that recurrent cost in the sense that there is no doubt that this will keep jobs in the territory. It will build essential infrastructure. It will pay for infrastructure that perhaps we would have to build in the next few years anyway. It means that for every primary school in Canberra there will be those recurrent costs for the non-government sector as well, and that will be worked through as that detail becomes available.

These are important projects. There will be a small recurrent hit on our budget. The exact impact of that will be known and members will have that information in the next couple of months. But the importance of this package and the importance of it to the territory cannot be underestimated.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary question.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, will you confirm that none of the projects funded by the federal package will offset expenditure that the ACT government had intended to undertake?

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