Page 146 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 11 February 2015

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social dividend. It is about the fact that if we can create jobs in a strong economy, that is good for everybody. What it means is that if we can get extra revenue coming into our coffers, if we can make sure that we control spending, then there is more money to spend on health.

What we have seen under this mob is $41 million taken out of the health budget that was meant to be rebuilding the Canberra Hospital. It was ripped out. We see no concrete plan to rebuild the Canberra Hospital. Where is that plan? Where is the money that is being invested in those services? It is about education. We know that our schools are under pressure. We know that last time this minister had control over expenditure in his portfolio he cut 23 schools.

Here he is trying to say: “You are just going to cut. You are people like Campbell Newman or Tony Abbott,”—or whatever slur it is. He is trying to create some sort of manufactured slur. Remember, Madam Speaker, that the last time Andrew Barr had control over something like this, he cut 23 schools. He is the man who is responsible for the greatest cuts in the ACT’s history. He is the man who has come in and cut 23 schools. If you want to talk about who has experience in cutting, who has experience in slashing, then I tell you who it is.

Government members interjecting—


MR HANSON: I will tell you. There are interjections. They do not like it because the greatest cutter, the greatest cutter in the history of the ACT, the man who slashed 23 schools, is Mr Barr. If he wants to talk about cutting and he wants to talk about slashing, he knows how to do it. Just ask him and ask all the schoolkids across their schools. (Time expired.)

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (12.06): The Greens have long held the view in our economic policy that one does need a sustainable budget. There is an appropriate time for deficit. There is also a time when a surplus is required to balance that out.

The great tension, of course, in sorting these things out, and the challenge for government, is to meet the service expectations of the community, including the many demands that are put in this place in motions on private members’ day, to support jobs, to keep the city running well, but at the same time to find the revenue to match this. That is, of course, the great challenge of trying to deal with a budget and make sure that we do have that sustainable budget in the long term and also make sure that we are investing in the infrastructure that we need for the future.

I have looked at both Mr Smyth’s motion and Mr Barr’s amendment. They certainly present two very different stories. One might expect that in this kind of discussion. But I think at the end of the day it is worth reflecting on the things that are going on in the ACT economy. We have heard quite an elaboration of that today. We certainly have the Mr Fluffy issue, which has provided a very significant impact on the budget

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