Page 1914 - Week 05 - Thursday, 5 May 2011

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MR STANHOPE: What I can say—and I think members need to understand this—is that a number of buildings will be freed up. In terms of the cost, somewhere in the order of the first $100 million of the cost, of course, will actually be offset by the sale of ACT government buildings. We need to understand this in relation to bandying around the $430 million. The first $100 million will be offset by the sale of surplus ACT government buildings. There will be significant benefits.

Mr Hanson: A point of order on relevance, Mr Speaker. It was directly about how much as a percentage of the $430 million will be spent on public art, and I ask the Chief Minister to come to that point.

Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker—

MR STANHOPE: I will come to that.

MR SPEAKER: Members, we have actually hit 2.30. Under the revised standing orders, we now have to go to the Leader of the Opposition’s budget reply speech.

MR STANHOPE: I assumed Mr Hanson was keen to ensure Mr Seselja did not start.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson can ask the question on notice if he wishes.

It being 2.30 pm, questions were interrupted pursuant to the order of the Assembly.

Appropriation Bill 2011-2012

Debate resumed from 3 May 2011, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (2.31): Mr Speaker, it has been said by some that what the Treasurer handed down on Tuesday was a budget of beige, a bland budget. I do not agree with that analysis. Not when there are $650 million in new borrowings, on top of all the debt we already have. We now have record borrowings. Not when rates have nearly doubled for Canberra households since ACT Labor came to power. Record rates. Not when taxation has gone from $1,800 per person when Labor was elected to a projected $3,500 for every person in the territory. We have record taxes. And not when we are still in deficit—even with nearly $4 billion in revenue.

Mr Speaker, there is nothing “boring” about having your taxes doubled. This is not a beige budget. What this government have done is taken their rivers of gold and turned it into a sea of red.

The first and most basic question to be asked about this budget is: how much money is there? At this point, I really do have to take on some of the consistent myths spun by the Treasurer that they are short of revenue. It is simply not true.

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