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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 6..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Mr Speaker, Labor's injection of resources into education will be the largest additional commitment to education since self-government. But resources are not unlimited. While we will meet our commitment, it will be done, as I said during the campaign, on a clear basis of need. That will be established in the review we have promised and which will be undertaken as soon as practicable.

We all know that Canberra is a very special place in which to live. We all value our bush capital, our open spaces, our garden suburbs. Labor went to the election with a program to reform the manner in which town planning is undertaken in Canberra to ensure these qualities are protected and enhanced. We are committed to proceed with the most sweeping and progressive reform to Canberra's system of planning that any government has undertaken.

Mr Speaker, the summary I have just delivered is, of course, just that-a quick summary of Labor's policy program. They are the key planks but they are just part of a suite of policies dealing with a range of aspects, including the need for a dynamic and vibrant economy, that touch the lives of Canberrans-policies which we put to the people of Canberra and which have been endorsed by them. Our overall program is designed to take forward the vision we have of Canberra as a strong, confident, prosperous and inclusive community asserting its place in the country's affairs as the national capital, and in our affairs as our home. Our immediate task is to develop the timetable necessary to put that program in place. Labor is enthusiastic and committed in its determination to implement that platform.

I note the words of Mr Humphries in recent days-expressed repeatedly and confidently-that there is no way that Labor can keep its promises, and I wonder what prompts those comments. Mr Humphries, of course, is the one person who knows better than anyone else in the Assembly the capacity of the government of the day to meet its commitments. Unlike Mother Hubbard, Mr Humphries does know what is left in the cupboard.

Of course, all our commitments were costed and audited, and in the course of the election campaign our opponents could find no hole in those costings. But those costings were based on information the government released about the financial state of the territory. We have the opportunity now to have a look at the books for ourselves. My colleague Mr Quinlan has already asked the Treasury to arrange for an audit that will reveal the true financial position of the territory.

Mr Speaker, in saying that, I am not for one moment suggesting that there is anything untoward in what the previous government suggested. I am just issuing a warning that things might not be precisely as has been claimed. Whatever the books say, Labor will not be deterred from its commitment to deliver what it promised, because we accept the obligation imposed on us by the decision of the Canberra community in electing us to office.

Mr Speaker, Labor went to the election not only on a detailed policy platform that has been endorsed by the people but also on a view about how governments should govern. Labor accepts that the traditions and time-honoured practices of Westminster remain at the core of responsible government. Our electoral system has meant minority


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