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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (16 October) . . Page.. 2887..


Tuesday, 16 October 2007

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional owners, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Chief Minister

Motion of grave concern

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (10.31): I seek leave to move a motion concerning a motion of grave concern.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: I move:

That this Assembly expresses grave concern over the lack of competence of the Chief Minister in respect of his management of the Government and, through the Government, the Territory's business.

Mr Speaker, yesterday we learned from an ACTCOSS report that 13.5 per cent of Canberra's householders are struggling to make ends meet. The bulletin ran and ran all day, and finally, at the end of the day, the Chief Minister made a comment—he said that it meant "more work needed to be done". What an understatement from an idle and feckless government that is incompetent and utterly unable to balance the books and live within its not inconsiderable means and which, as a result, has to tax the pants off ordinary people.

It is a government led by Jon Stanhope, the Chief Minister, that is always pontificating to anyone who will listen about issues that are, indeed, peripheral to the concerns of most Canberrans. Indeed, it seems that whenever it is embarrassed by yet another tale of its own woe, we will see some diversionary tactic, such as getting stuck into the federal government, things like legislation being put forward that cannot succeed because it is outside the territory's constitutional responsibilities, or even such things like publishing the commonwealth government's draft-in-confidence anti-terrorist legislation.

Unfortunately, Mr Speaker, this is a government that is not really interested in the bread and butter issues that are the stuff of local government—rates, roads and rubbish. Indeed, it is a government that feels, through its Chief Minister, that it is much too grand for this. Indeed, the Chief Minister will wax on about his human rights showcase prison—known actually to a growing number of people in our community as the Jerrabomberra Hilton—which will cost a minimum of $128 million to build, and that is not taking into account operational costs from year to year, which will be quite considerable, despite what this government may say.

Mr Speaker, we have a statue glorifying the life and works of Al Grassby. That is actually just a snip at $72,000 or thereabouts, but it is a fascinating choice in a year of


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