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Thursday, 25 May 1989
Page: 2760


Senator WALSH (Minister for Finance)(9.31) —I cannot do anything tonight. The honourable senator wanted to know precisely what happened at the Premiers Conference in regard to the Australian Capital Territory and what changes, if any, were made at the Premiers Conference or because of the Premiers Conference to the decision announced, I think in July of last year, about Australian Capital Territory funding. I do not know the answers off the top of my head but I am confident that I could get that sort of information from the Department of Finance. I will get it to the honourable senator by letter, certainly not tonight and probably not tomorrow but I expect some time next week. That sort of information is probably better obtained from the Department of Finance than it is from the Department of the Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories for the reasons that have already been given.

As to what the Commonwealth's policy will be in regard to a Grants Commission review, I think that is a Treasury matter, not a Finance matter. I will approach the Treasurer (Mr Keating) about that. However, I warn the honourable senator that the Treasurer may not be willing at this stage to make a statement on that. Likewise, I should be able to get an answer from the Department of Finance to the third question about the financial treatment of developed or semi-developed land that is being transferred to the Australian Capital Territory Administration.