Page 4339 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 13 October 2009

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taken from another ACT public school in order to fund the recommendations outlined in that committee report. However, as I have indicated on three previous occasions in relation to this line of questioning, the government will respond to the committee’s report in due course.

Taxation—GST payments

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Treasurer. Treasurer, what is the current GST relativity for the ACT that is used by the Commonwealth Grants Commission to determine GST payments to states and territories?

MS GALLAGHER: It is one of the classic Brendan Smyth—

Mr Stanhope: Yes, what a joke!

Mr Smyth: Well, just answer the question and we can move right along.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Chief Minister!

MS GALLAGHER: I actually do not know that exact figure. My interest in the Commonwealth Grants Commission at this point in time is making sure that the ACT gets a good deal out of the review that is underway. It has been underway for five years. For Mr Smyth’s interest, 1,091 pages of submissions have been provided to the Commonwealth Grants Commission in response to the discussions that have been had to this point in time.

Mr Smyth: Can you table it?

MS GALLAGHER: If Mr Smyth actually did his job, he would note that a lot of them are on the website at this point in time and you can print them off yourself, with your exorbitant stationery budget that you all have down there in the non-executive wing. This is a serious issue for the ACT. And do you know what Mr Smyth’s response to it is? Mr Smyth’s response, when he goes AWOL for a week and feels that he has been deprived of media attention, is to come back and think: “Now what can I do now? Oh yes, we’ll put out a media release about what the Treasurer’s not doing on the Commonwealth Grants Commission side.”

What I have been doing is staying at work all the time and working on the submission to the Commonwealth Grants Commission, to make sure that the ACT actually gets a good deal, as opposed to Mr Smyth’s great brainwave that you put out a media release and offend the commission. That is Mr Smyth’s great idea: not one submission, not any data. I am not aware of Mr Smyth having come up with any data, any evidence or any proposal that he might seek to lobby the Commonwealth Grants Commission on. Instead, all of the work that the government has been doing in arguments across health, education, community services and capital—

Mr Smyth: You don’t even know the—

MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, you will get a supplementary in a minute.

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