Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 June 2009) . . Page.. 2681 ..
MS GALLAGHER: That is right; you delayed releasing all your costings. You had people working 24 hours a day in the lead-up to the last week of the campaign because you were so embarrassed about your commitments and how much they cost.
To acknowledge that we have delayed savings for a year actually acknowledges that there is a plan in place by this government to recover the budget. It is a long-term plan; it is a seven-year plan, and part of the reason it is a seven-year plan is that we took the decision not to impose arbitrary savings on the people of Canberra in the 2009-10 budget without discussing with the community those ideas first.
Those opposite have campaigned—in fact the central theme of your campaign in the last election was—that this government did not consult. You were out to lunch for about three years on the decisions we took in the functional review. Now that we have in this plan accepted the position that we need to consult with the community before cutting government services, and we are doing that, you criticise that as well. It is very easy for an opposition to sit there, opposition for opposition’s sake: oppose the government, oppose cuts when you do not consult, oppose cuts when you do not implement them early enough, oppose cuts when you do consult. How easy it must be to be you every morning. You just wake up, you open the paper and you think: “Well, we’ll just oppose that and—guess what—we don’t even need to have an alternative. We can oppose it. We don’t have to have an alternative and we’ll get away with it because we’re the opposition.” Well, good luck to you. You will be in opposition for ever.
MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, in the context of the 2009 ACT budget, the economic adviser to the estimates committee, Tony Harris, said:
The use of unaudited indicators allows governments to craft indicators which are inappropriate, to present fraudulent data or, as worryingly, to manipulate the program so that poor performance is a necessary result.
Treasurer, what reviews have you made of indicators used in the presentation of the annual budget to ensure that they are soundly based?
MS GALLAGHER: My recollection of Tony Harris’s analysis on the forecast in the budget was that it was very good. That was the analysis. I am just looking for the quote. He actually said that the way the budget was displayed and the data that was used were very helpful in his analysis. In terms of strategic indicators, I am happy to have a look at Mr Harris’s analysis and get back to the Assembly. I do not recall the criticism specifically.
Mr Smyth: It is in the third paragraph: “The use of unaudited indicators allows …”
MS GALLAGHER: I will take the time to have a look at it. If there is one thing I have learned in this place it is that I never believe the question as it is put. I will