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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (30 May) . . Page.. 1230..


MR MULCAHY (continuing):

is hurting. It is hurting families with kids and it is hurting superannuants. The opposition is concerned about these people.

What have the government done with the extra revenue of $83 million? Clearly, they have not done too much. They have double dipped and are collecting more revenue from the people of Canberra. But where do we see the improvement in services? Mr Pratt went through a range of examples of the poor quality of services we are seeing, particularly in respect of urban infrastructure. Of course the people of Canberra are up in arms, wanting to know why their streets are deteriorating and why their footpaths are in such poor shape. Older people, particularly in the inner south and inner north, are experiencing injuries because of poor lighting. I get endless complaints from suburbs such as Campbell about urban infrastructure. The government taxes them more but they do not see their taxes passed on.

In even more critical areas, such as the hospital that Mr Smyth has pursued many times in this place, we see constant issues of standard of service. Over the Christmas-New Year period there was not one surgeon available in the Canberra hospital other than locums. This is a disgraceful state of affairs. A friend of mine who has cancer and was in hospital for surgery told me he was aghast at the situation. Although he needed emergency medical treatment, the locum was reluctant to operate because he was not based at the hospital and certainly was not part of the place.

These are real cases, not just esoteric things. They do not involve the creation of monuments or statues or even improvement to or the construction of roadways that may be able to be put off. These are things that impact on people's lives, and the people of Canberra rightfully expect the territory government to start performing at the level that the Australian government has nationally. The Australian government has put the interests of the people first and foremost while building up Australia as a globally competitive country. The ACT government has overspent year in, year out and has failed to deliver quality services to its people. It is regrettable that, of course, the government will not admit this as we move towards the eve of the new budget.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Australian electoral system

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (5.15): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes:

(a) the amendments made to the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 by the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Act 2006 will disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters in our community;

(b) the Howard Government's enrolment changes are unnecessary and are likely to weaken Australia's electoral system;

(c) the direct impact these changes will have on the ACT's electoral roll; and


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