Page 890 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 24 February 2009

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Mr Smyth: Today’s editorial?

MR HANSON: It is in the Canberra Times, in the editorial.

Ms Gallagher: No, the document you referred to earlier.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Burch): Mr Hanson, you need leave to table the document.

MR HANSON: I seek leave—

Ms Gallagher: You said you would table it—an ALP document.

Leave granted.

MR HANSON: It is actually a media release of 19 September. I table the following paper:

Budget 2009-10 surplus—Media release—ACT Labor, dated 19 September 2008.

So what is the impact? We have talked about the fact that we have extended deficits. Every time we get an update, these deficits seem to grow. As I read from the Canberra Times, there is a belief in the community that the government is going to hide behind the global economic crisis to start dismantling election promises that it made.

This government have a pattern of behaviour. We have seen it with the school closures. In 2004, the government went to an election saying, “You know we’re not going to close schools,” and they did. This time it was to run surpluses, and they are not. So what is actually going to change? Are they going to start stepping away, delaying or cutting programs or are they going to simply rack up massive deficits and take us further into debt? You have got to do one or the other because of the position that we are in.

What promises—I refer to the crossbench—in the Greens-Labor agreement is the government now going to step away from or delay indefinitely? It is time for this government to be honest. They have got to tell us what is going to be cut, what is going to be delayed or how much debt we are going to be burdened with in the ACT economy. And when do you anticipate, if that is the case, that we are actually going to get back on track? The point is that this did not need to happen in the severity that it has.

Ms Gallagher: Oh, come on!

MR HANSON: Treasurer, you may laugh, but the deterioration in our budget position has no doubt been influenced by the global economic crisis, and I do not contend that we could have fully inoculated our budget against the impact of that

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