Page 2847 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013

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But you are saying that not a cent is being spent and therefore no activity has occurred, and that I suspect is untrue.

So we get to the nub of the matter, and the nub of the matter is information. Mr Rattenbury seems to think, “We have had enough questions. Let’s get on with it. You have had your go. It’s okay. Let’s go.” But it does not matter whether you think there have been enough questions asked. You said there is a large amount of information in the budget, Mr Rattenbury. Yes, there is. But is all of it relevant and is all of it the information that is required by the law?

Do we have all of the detail, for instance, as Mr Coe has so well pointed out, on what is the real cost of capital metro? What are we actually being asked to sign up to here? In years to come, people will come back and say, “You voted for that first budget,” or, “It was voted for in the 2013-14 budget; therefore it was okay to get on with it.” Tell us what the liability may be. No-one has been able to tell us what the subsidy would be to keep capital metro afloat. These are all things that impact on the budgets that come and if you have done your work and you are convinced of your case rather than saying, “No number is too high,” then you would be able to make a coherent case. And all we are saying is that we have not heard that coherent case.

Ms Gallagher is saying, “You are hysterical.” It is a serious issue and if you want hysteria, just go to Mr Barr’s speech where he is saying, “Mr Smyth wants us to rewrite the entire budget.” I have never asked for a rewrite of the entire budget. That is hysteria. What I have asked is that we get an update in the relevant sections and, if necessary, that amendments come forward.

It has been done before. Mr Humphries and Ms Carnell both brought forward amendments to their budgets when things changed in the period in which the budget was under consideration. Previous treasurers have been able to do it. Why cannot this Treasurer do the same? It is not unreasonable to have amendments and to have an update.

Indeed, this afternoon, I see on the blue sheet, we are going to get the update to the quarterlies. We will get the last quarter of the last financial year and we will have an even bigger understanding and knowledge, and perhaps that could be incorporated. It is not unreasonable, in the context of when the debate is active, that we get the information that informs the debate. And that is what we are asking.

We know the government has the information. We know the government has the information on the rates. Mr Barr told us so. He just does not want to tell everybody else what is the full impact of his rates reform. Our numbers say that it means tripling your rates. He can finish this argument today. So does the Quinlan review say that the rates will triple. So did the author of the document who said, “Yes, they will have to increase substantially but we are not going to tell you how much.”

Mr Barr has that knowledge. He could end the debate today, but he refuses to do so. He has that information clutched tightly to his chest because he does not want the public to know exactly what is going to happen to their rates. If it was as beneficial as he lays out and claims, he would have had that document out in the public realm last

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