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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (16 October) . . Page.. 2895..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

The real commentary that we hear from those opposite is, first of all, a critique of the government in terms of not spending enough in key areas, such as mental health or emergency services or schools or a range of other areas. But at the same time, Mr Speaker, what else is it that they do? Well, they encourage the government to reduce its revenue. They say to the government, "You need to increase spending in key areas,"and then they say, "And you should cut taxes."We have heard Mr Pratt say the emergency services levy will be abolished under the Liberal government. Mr Mulcahy has proposed the removal of the utilities tax. Indeed, this very week he is proposing to remove a tax, and that is on top of a range of other taxes that they have said they will wind back or they will abolish.

Mr Speaker, they cannot have it both ways. They cannot say, "Spend more. Spend more on health, spend more on schools, spend more on emergency services, spend more on roads, spend more on the look and feel of the city, but cut all these taxes."How are they going to make up the difference? If Mr Mulcahy says it is all about becoming more efficient, then how many more jobs is he going reduce from the ACT public sector? How many more positions would he remove from the ACT public sector if he were become Treasurer one day?

This is the hypocrisy and the contradiction inherent in the Liberal Party's position, Mr Speaker. They have no ideas for the future, they have squandered their time in opposition, fought and squabbled amongst themselves, presented no alternative program except to cut taxes and at the same time increase expenditure. Well, the Canberra community deserves better; they deserve better than an opposition that fights amongst themselves, an opposition that squabbles over who is going to be the leader of a sinking ship, an opposition that decides it wants to cut taxes but at the same time provide further funds for services. Mr Speaker, this motion is a complete joke. This motion demonstrates the paucity of the Liberal Party's commitment to a vision, and the government does not support it. (Time expired.)

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (11.01): What a hypocrite!

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that.

MRS BURKE: I withdraw that Mr Corbell is a hypocrite. Some 150 beds, utilities tax, schools reinstatement fund, independent ESA, independent tourism authority, dragway, future of schools committee, hospital board—we have done nothing. Mr Corbell has clearly been asleep. And I have to ask: where is the Chief Minister? Where is the Chief Minister this morning during the debate on this vitally important area? He should be here leading his team. Mr Speaker, I think it is unacceptable but unavoidable that we have to rise today to highlight some major areas where Jon Stanhope, the Chief Minister, has failed the Canberra community.

No more is this evident than in the health system, and Mr Stefaniak has outlined many of the issues there, and I will touch on some of those as well. It is a matter of grave concern to not only the opposition but to the people of Canberra. You lot are so out of touch you would not know a crisis when you tripped over it, would you? The responsibility of the territory under the current commonwealth-state health agreement


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