Page 1221 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 24 March 2009

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appreciation to the Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing under the chairmanship of Alan Hodges AM.

This is yet another case of the government working with the community to find solutions to problems yet to emerge. I would like to see us develop the solutions into which the problems will grow, not the other way around.

Government expenditure

Discussion of matter of public importance

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Burch): Mr Speaker has received letters from Ms Bresnan, Ms Burch, Mr Coe, Mr Doszpot, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, Mr Speaker has determined that the matter proposed by Mrs Dunne be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

Reducing wasteful expenditure in the ACT Government.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (3.28): In the years to come, when our community in Canberra reflects upon this Stanhope-Gallagher Labor government, what will it say about its time on the government benches? Will it say that the Stanhope-Gallagher Labor government took a prudent approach to the management of the territory’s finances? Sadly, the answer will be a very definite no.

When this government came to office in late 2001, it was handed a bank account with money in it. After this government came to office, it reaped the rewards of a booming economy. After this government came to office, it raked in record GST revenues. What has this government done with the spoils of that booming economy? Quite simply, it has squandered it. We, the people of the ACT, have nothing to show for the record revenues that came the way of the Stanhope government between 2002 and 2008.

The government squandered it in a multitude of ways. It squandered it on the $5 million busway study. Had that project proceeded, it would have been a $100 million project. What would the benefits have been? Saving bus commuters from Belconnen to Civic less than five minutes in travel time. That was wasted expenditure.

The government squandered the spoils of a booming economy on incompetent budget management of significant road infrastructure. With the GDE it gave the people of Canberra a single-lane carriageway for twice the budgeted cost of the dual-lane carriageway. Here is another example of the Stanhope-Gallagher government’s wasted expenditure. Its incompetent budget management of the GDE now has us staring down the barrel of a $20 million upgrade for Flemington Road to cope with the inadequacies of the GDE. More wasted expenditure.

We had the prospect of increasing wasted expenditure because, almost before the bitumen was dry on the GDE, the Stanhope government was forced to admit that it

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