Page 2483 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 6 August 2013

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Mr Smyth, who is the opposition’s answer to who should be Treasurer, has shown yet again that he cannot be trusted with the ACT’s budget. While it may be all sounding positive, he wants to reduce revenue—recommendation 5 is a good example—by fixing the lease variation charge to last year’s rates and by the reduction of penalties around property development commencements and completions. That is just to name a few.

However, they do not want to be fiscally responsible in their savings. Instead they want to increase spending. There are a number of recommendations that show an increase in spending. For example, recommendation 25 states that we should build another off-ramp on the Majura Parkway. Their apprentice engineer decided that might be a good idea. They recommend we should be spending more on public prosecutions and appointing a fifth judge. That is an old favourite from the ACT Liberals. And let us buy another Bronto, which would cost millions of dollars.

What we have seen from the Canberra Liberals again is a lack of economic maturity in the way they conduct themselves. Our dissenting report recognises and congratulates the government on this transformational way forward, while still being economically responsible and ensuring a return to surplus in 2015-16.

But may I point out, Madam Acting Speaker, that it is not just me who has this view. The special budget adviser Mr Hanson mentioned earlier on notes some very positive things in this budget. Just to quote a few, revenue expectations are strong, tax reform delivers a positive change in revenue and expenditure commitments remain strong enough to stimulate the ACT economy. There is also more funding for support services for homeless people, the expansion of the disability support service, and capital works spending concentrated in public hospitals and community infrastructure.

Madam Deputy Speaker, I think it is time we asked when we will start seeing some political maturity from the Canberra Liberals in this parliament. In closing, I would like to really thank the efforts of Dr Bourke and his staff and my staff especially, but I would also like to thank the work of the committee office and echo Mr Hanson’s congratulations for their hard work. Thank you.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 9

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo): I present the following report:

Justice and Community Safety (Legislative Scrutiny Role)—Standing Committee—Scrutiny Report 9, dated 29 July 2013, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

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