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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 June 2011) . . Page.. 2895 ..


MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (8.10): It is a pleasure to speak to this line item. I think that it is appropriate that we are debating this just after debating TAMS because I think that in TAMS there will be a lack of ability from this government to deliver on the basic services that the community expects, because of the spending through Economic Development.

Most of the detail for the big, new government office building that we got came through Economic Development and this $430 million white elephant will be one of the reasons why, if the Labor Party manages to get this project up, the real infrastructure needs of the community will not be delivered by the Labor Party. There will be less money for road infrastructure. There will be less money for sporting infrastructure. There will be less money for health and education and all the things that are of critical importance to the community, because this government wants to build itself a shiny, new office building for $430 million.

The first thing we have to touch on, I think, is the dodgy savings assumptions which the government has put together in relation to this government office building. The details of savings were provided to the committee on an A4 piece of paper, with the government not sure whether it was a Treasury document—

Mr Barr interjecting—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Hold the phone! Stop the clock, please. Minister, I asked members of the opposition, when the minister was on his feet, to hear him in silence. I would like that to continue and for Mr Seselja to be paid the same courtesy, please. Mr Seselja, the floor is yours.

MR SESELJA: Thank you very much, Mr Assistant Speaker, for bringing Mr Barr into line. I appreciate that.

The details of the savings were provided to the committee on an A4 piece of paper. We know the minister does not like this but it is embarrassing. It is embarrassing that you would put together the sum total of your savings on an A4 piece of paper, unattributed, undated, untitled. And nobody wanted to take the blame. Nobody was sure whether it was a Treasury document or a LAPS document. All we knew was: when we asked, “Where are these $19 million of savings?” they produced this A4 piece of paper.

The savings identified as part of the $19.3 million on the A4 piece of paper are of course different to the claimed savings of $19.3 million in the budget impact analysis provided by Treasury. We have dodgy number after dodgy number. The A4 paper outlined potential rental savings, workforce efficiencies and churn as the three factors contributing to the $19.3 million in annual savings. The budget impact analysis outlines potential rental savings, workforce efficiencies and running costs, general utilities management and maintenance as the three factors contributing to the $19.3 million in annual savings.


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