Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 11 August 2016) . . Page.. 2832 ..
Treasurer in the Australian Capital Territory every budget round there will be, through the community consultation and through their ministerial colleagues and through the Office of the Legislative Assembly and everyone else who wants to have input into the budget, as there normally is, about 10 times as many spending requests as there is available revenue.
When it comes to the question of how you might go about raising revenue and you ask that question there are normally 10 times as many reasons and arguments that come forward about how, in fact, we should have no revenue collected at all because every bit of government revenue collection is a massive impost on people’s cost of living. We cannot continue in a fantasy that all taxes are evil and that all spending is bad except for that which we spend on ourselves in this place, as important as this democratic institution is.
I take on board the spirit of what Madam Speaker has put forward but I will not accept a sour grapes lecture tonight on a few budget appropriations not being supported when the majority were. There will always be another budget round. But having sat through three days of budget debate now and had a tirade of abuse about revenue raising we do need to think deeply about whether spending money on ourselves is the number one priority at this point in time.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra): Madam Deputy Speaker, under standing order 47 I would like to speak again to address a misconception in the speech.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please proceed.
MRS DUNNE: Thank you. I think that the Chief Minister misunderstood the move from the discussion about the specific appropriation in this bill to a more general discussion about how we might in future determine the quantum of the appropriation for the Legislative Assembly. What he described as the high-minded discussion was designed to be just that. It was not a reflection on the failure of the government, the executive, to provide all the moneys that were asked for by the Office of the Legislative Assembly and the Office of the Auditor-General. I had moved on from that to a more esoteric discussion. Yes it is esoteric but this was a genuine attempt to start a conversation about whether there is a better way in the future of doing this. I think that the Chief Minister and Treasurer has failed at the first hurdle by saying, “We cannot possibly do this because everyone always has to lose out on something.”
There were two parts to the speech. There was one about the appropriation bill and there was one about a future approach to appropriation. I hope that the Chief Minister now understands that there was a segue, which he may not have heard; but this is a genuine discussion which I will continue, irrespective of where I sit beyond the election, about the future way we appropriate for the legislature and the integrity bodies that support the legislature.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.