PITTWATER SHIRE COUNCIL BUDGET
The Hon. DOROTHY ISAKSEN: I direct my question without notice to the Minister for Planning and Minister for Energy, representing the Minister for Local Government. Has the Minister been advised of an error in the estimated deficit of the first year of operation for the proposed Pittwater shire and that it should be $3 million instead of $1.5 million? Will the Minister inform the House why Warringah Shire Council has been denied access to the working papers of the financial consultant of the Local Government Boundaries Commission which would provide this vital information for negotiations on the division of assets and liabilities between the two councils? If there has been an error of $1.8 million, will the Government provide the difference or does it intend that the ratepayers in the remaining part of Warringah shire should pay for the mistake?
The Hon. R. J. WEBSTER: I shall refer the detail of the question to my colleague to answer, but I am tempted to make a few comments on the question. I seem to recall that Neville Wran sacked Warringah Shire Council some years ago. Because he had difficulty controlling it politically, he thought it was easier to sack it, and he did so peremptorily. Obviously the overwhelming result of the referendum held recently in the shire has not pleased honourable members opposite; otherwise they would not be asking
these questions. We have heard much about democracy from members opposite. There can be nothing more democratic than asking a simple referendum question and receiving an overwhelmingly positive response. I am sure that in due course my colleague the Minister for Local Government will answer the detailed questions of both honourable members. I can only say, "Hear, hear", for democracy.