Page 2482 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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numbers before the debate goes ahead so that we members are actually voting on something that is accurate and real, because at this stage the budget as proposed does not incorporate all that it should incorporate, which is the true bottom line. To say that it will take six or eight months for the government to work through what the impact of the ICRC decision is, is just a nonsense. I commend the agreed report to the Assembly.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (10.55): I wish to add my sentiments to what Dr Bourke has said previously. I would like to add a note that this chair’s report was created by two people in the ACT Liberals who want to hold two of the highest positions in the ACT Assembly, that is Chief Minister and Treasurer. Madam Speaker, it is no wonder that the Liberals continue to sit on the other side of the chamber if this is the work that we can expect from them possibly in a future government.

I could not support the report put forward by the opposition leader as chair of the committee due to its very clear partisan view against the budget, meanwhile offering no responsible way forward to improve the ACT economy. Let me just talk to the point that both opposition members have made about my abstaining from the final vote on the report. I abstained from the final vote on the report because it was my clear view that it was their intention to crash this committee.

The advice from the Clerk was that if two members voted for the final report and two members voted against the final report, no report could be given to the Legislative Assembly. So I viewed that my position in abstaining was not one of support. I will put that very clearly on the record. I did not support the chair’s report. In abstaining I allowed the committee process to go forward. I think that is the appropriate thing to do.

Of course, the opposition want to turn this argument into a discussion on the deficit. We have heard that this morning. Yet in their report they want to lower revenue and increase spending. Madam Speaker, I may not have an economics degree but I do know that if you spend more than what you earn you are going to end up further and further in debt.

The opposition’s report also fails to reflect the positivity of the responses in the hearings that were conducted from 14 June to 1 July in which the committee heard of the transformation that this budget is bringing to the ACT economy: health initiatives that have the ability to transform the lives of many Canberrans, educational improvements as well as the transformational tax changes—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Smyth, Mr Hanson!

MR GENTLEMAN: making Canberra a fairer territory for all who live and work here. When reading the opposition’s report and during the deliberations I was rather shocked to see how real evidence from the hearing was practically dismissed and the opposition’s questions and statements taken on as evidence.

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