Jim McGinty

Jim McGinty

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    Costings of election promises farcical

    3/02/1993 12:00 AM
     
     
    State Government Minister Jim McGinty says the Opposition's costings of its election promises are farcical and an attempt to deceive the people of Western Australia. 
     
    Mr McGinty said that for his main portfolio areas alone - housing, the environment and heritage - the Opposition had grossly undervalued `initiatives' or failed to cost them at all.
     
    "The costings have more gaps than an Australian batsman's defence and can only be described as creative accounting at its best," Mr McGinty said.
     
    "The Liberals have tried to con the people of Western Australia by making flashy promises that they know they can not deliver.
     
    "A classic example is that they have offered to provide a $1,000 first home buyer grant for low-income earners - but have only budgeted for $100,000 or assistance for 100 people. 
     
    "That is even more pathetic when you consider that the State Government already offers a scheme involving $1,500 cash assistance for low-income earners and last year alone helped 1,400 people at a cost of $2.1 million. 
     
    "A similar scheme in 1990 provided assistance to 3,000 people and involved funding of $9.6 million." 
     
    Mr McGinty said that while the first home buyer grant was an example of under-funding he was also concerned at the lack of costings for many of the promises made by Richard Court and his colleagues. 
     
    "Many of the promises contained in the policy documents released by the Liberals are now nowhere to be found - is it because they would show the real financial blowout under the conservatives or does it mean they are never going to be implemented," the Minister said. 
     
    These included: 
     
    ·         no costings for a full biological survey of Western Australia (would run into millions of dollars); 
    ·         failing to cost the use of private consultants to carry out assessments for the Environmental Protection Authority (consultants can charge around $80 per hour for their services); 
    ·         no specific provision to fund the creation of the Chapman River National Park or the Port Kennedy Scientific Park (funds would be required for the former to purchase private land for the park and there is no provision for management costs); 
    ·         funding for a promised restoration and refurbishment of the Old Treasury Building in Perth out of a proposed Heritage Council budget of $1.5 million (this project would cost in excess of $1 million and therefore leave the Heritage Council without funds). 
     
    "All this adds up to millions of dollars worth of flaws in the Opposition's costings - what would happen if the whole document was placed under the microscope," Mr McGinty said. 
     
    "Richard Court has failed to produce the goods with these costings and he has a duty to tell Western Australians the truth - what promises will he renege on and what devious revenue raising will he resort to in an effort to pay for the rest."