Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1646..
MR PRATT (continuing):
government sector in general. The point made was in relation to the issues that I was talking about, which have allegedly occurred in a number of schools. The second point is that I did not say the issues discussed were pertaining only to the government sector in terms of schooling. I did say that these are issues which are occurring "across a number of high schools"; so I did not intend to select, nor did I select, any particular sector. That is that, Mr Speaker.
Secondly, I want to talk about an email that I have received from Mr Val Jeffery in Tharwa. He talks about the pain in Tharwa as a consequence of the no river crossing issue. While the money in the budget, and it is now $9.5 million, is of course welcome, I would stress, as I read the budget, that it is simply a re-announcement of money that was already allocated for that project.
I note that already the best advice is that the original deadlines for the project to be completed are slipping. I recall the minister in September of last year making promises that this project would be completed by the end of this year. All the advice now is that this is slipping well into 2008, thereby adding further pain to Tharwa residents. The concern about this is that Tharwa is strangulating as a consequence of the closed bridge.
Mr Corbell: I think the term is "being strangulated".
MR PRATT: No; let me be as creative as I like. As long as I am truthful, minister, it does not particularly matter. And the truth of the matter is, minister, Tharwa is being strangled—
Mr Corbell: Yes, I think that is more accurate.
MR PRATT: as a consequence of your government's neglect. There are a number of issues. Firstly, there is a failure—
Mr Corbell: Grammar helps.
MR PRATT: While you worry about crossing t's and dotting i's on grammar, minister, I will worry about the people that you are strangling in Tharwa.
Mr Corbell: No, I am not strangling anyone, Mr Pratt.
MR PRATT: I am referring to your government collectively and you are a member of that government. You ought to be ashamed.
MR SPEAKER: This is an adjournment debate, not a conversation across the hall.
MR PRATT: I am rather disappointed that Mr Corbell would not be getting right up his colleague, the municipal services minister, and his Chief Minister to hasten this matter along. And you might think it is funny, Mr Corbell—
Mr Corbell: I do not think it is funny.
MR PRATT: Well, you are behaving as if this is a—