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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 570..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

insult to each and every citizen in this town. I wish Mr Pratt would be a little bit more positive about the place he calls home and supposedly represents.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella-Leader of the Opposition) (4.03): Yet again we have Mr Hargreaves's standard response: do not address the issue, attack the man; do not play the ball, go for the man. He takes what Mr Pratt says and over exaggerates it. He twists, turns and spins it so he can come back and say, "Shame on you, Mr Pratt, for talking down the city."Mr Pratt is not talking down the city. He was entirely appropriate in bringing on this motion, for which I thank him, and what he said was entirely appropriate. Mr Hargreaves said, and keeps on saying, "I am quite happy with what we are doing."I have to tell you, Mr Hargreaves, that neither the people of this city nor its visitors are happy with what you are doing. Regular visitors-business visitors in particular-who have come here over many years have told me on many occasions that, in the entire history of this city, they have never seen such a rapid decline. We are talking about provision for the future, a vision to make this city wonderful, a vision backed up by a maintenance plan to keep it looking wonderful and address the issues that affect people where they live. Mr Mulcahy will have a bit to say on that shortly.

It is interesting that Mr Hargreaves asked, "Which roads do you not want us to go ahead with?"Mr Hargreaves, why don't you outline your five-year road program like we did in 2000, when we put on the table the roads that needed to be done? Indeed, my five-year road program is still being addressed by the government and praised by them as though it is somehow something they have done. I notice that, in this year's budget papers, the five-year road program we put in place back in 2000 has been largely completed and that all the forward years are empty. There is no expenditure, except for Gungahlin Drive, into the future on major road programs in the ACT. Why? Because this minister has not put any programs forward or, if he has, he does not have the clout in cabinet to make it happen. We are talking about the loss of programs like the look of the city and the lakesmart programs which have simply drifted away-they have been lost. Mr Hargreaves says, as all the ministers opposite always say, "We put an extra $9.8 million into programs."What did we get for that extra $9.8 million? I would put to you, Mr Speaker, that we did not get a great deal.

Mr Hargreaves says that they remain committed to the look of the city. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. If you walk around even just the Civic area, you can see the decline in the roads, the footpaths, the parks, the gardens and most of the public areas which has occurred under this government. It is interesting that the only bright light, the only single initiative this minister seems to have come up with on his own-or perhaps somebody came up with it for him-was the painting of traffic control boxes. That is the only new initiative in five years under Labor to alter the look of the city. That pretty much sums up the scope and ability of this minister-that he has been able to paint 28 or 50 control boxes and a few more are going to be done this year.

It is about having a long-term view on how to revitalise infrastructure, and it does not stop. You cannot say, "We've done our bit"and it will then go away. It does not work like that. When we came to office in 1995 we realised that. That was why we commenced work on areas such as Kingston, Manuka, the Curtin shops and Narrabundah-shopping centres and public spaces that have reaped the benefit of government investment-genuine investment, not ordinary maintenance-to make them liveable, viable and more exciting than they have been, and sustainable into the future.


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