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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 June 2009) . . Page.. 2634 ..

did the Liberals propose to do if they had been elected to government? I draw members’ attention to the savings that they identified as part of their pre-election commitments. Those savings proposed an efficiency dividend for the Legislative Assembly of $156,000 in the current financial year, $318,000 in 2009-10, $324,000 in 2010-11 and $325,000 in 2011-12. Here we have the Liberal Party criticising the government for our apparent failure to provide resources and they proposed an efficiency dividend of over a quarter of a million dollars. They cannot have it both ways.

Unfortunately, what we see in this place is the typical opposition for opposition’s sake from the Liberal Party. There it is in black and white—over a quarter of a million dollars in efficiency dividends that the Liberal Party said they were going to impose on the Legislative Assembly if they were elected. Mr Speaker, let us see if they can try and keep their stories straight and consistent during this budget debate, but I am afraid this is not a good start.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.22): Mr Speaker, just briefly on this item, the ACT Legislative Assembly Secretariat in particular does an excellent job.

Mr Stanhope: Why were you going to cut them?

MR SESELJA: This is, I suppose, the difference. We hear the interjections. Ms Gallagher says that it is good to cut from Health but we should not look for savings in other areas such as the Legislative Assembly. It is a ridiculous argument.

We do believe that the Legislative Assembly provides an excellent service to members. There are the odd complaints, but very few complaints. I personally am always impressed with the professionalism of the staff that we deal with and the professionalism of the advice. I want to particularly take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Secretariat staff who supported us during the estimates process; they are a hardworking lot.

Mr Corbell: A bit embarrassing, isn’t it, Zed? It is embarrassing, yes.

MR SESELJA: The interjections demonstrate the complete lack of plan. They criticise us for looking for efficiencies. That is their criticism. They say, “You should not look for efficiencies.” They are going to have unallocated efficiencies that they apparently will find somewhere down the track in areas such as health and education, but apparently any other efficiencies are not worth finding.

We believe that governments can always operate more efficiently. We believe that it is important that governments live within their means. The response from the Treasurer and others across the way highlights the complete lack of plan. We do pay tribute to their professionalism; we do believe we get an excellent service from the Legislative Assembly Secretariat. But it is important that, when we are faced with seven years of deficits under this mob—and that is seven years, if we can believe it—

Mr Smyth: Temporary.

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