Page 714 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 17 March 2015

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MR BARR: Indeed, we note that there are a variety of increasing demands upon expenditure within the responsibilities of, in our case, both municipal and state-type functions. But to go to the issue of debt recovery, the Revenue Office in particular has been provided with additional resources in order to—

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker—

MADAM SPEAKER: Have you got a point of order?

Mr Hanson: On a point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: Would you stop the clock, please?

Mr Hanson: The question was about reducing the ACT government’s debt and deficit. It was not about debt recovery. It is not about going after debtors. It is about what he is doing with his own debt. I would ask the Treasurer to address the issue of what the government is doing to reduce its record deficits and its record debt, which was the question.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, if you—

Mr Corbell: Point of order—

MADAM SPEAKER: No, it is all right, Mr Corbell. If you really want to press that issue, it was within my capacity, after I thought about it, to rule your supplementary question out of order because it did not really relate to the first question. Mr Barr was answering the question, which related to debt recovery. I think that that is possibly the space that he needs to be in.

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on the point of order, my original question was: “I refer to a recent Auditor-General’s report on debt management.” Then I talked about what the government has done with regard to arrangements for debt management across ACT government entities. So I would have thought that asking what strategies the ACT government has to manage debt is entirely in order and it is not relevant for the Chief Minister to be talking about simply—

Mr Corbell: No, you are conflating this.

Mr Hanson: No, I am quoting from the question. It is simply not relevant for the Chief Minister to be talking about debt recovery.

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hanson. I have ruled on the point of order and I think that the Chief Minister is answering the question on the subject that you asked.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Obviously, there is some confusion. I understood the Auditor-General’s report to be into debts owed to the territory and how our ACT government agencies are pursuing those debts. My comments in response to the initial question were that the Auditor-General has made some valid points that the

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