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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3013..

MR MULCAHY (continuing):

I urge members opposite to think about this and think about what they could do in terms of the integrity of taxing and the budget process. Follow what has happened at the commonwealth level and hand back taxes to people. The Australian government announced $34 billion in tax cuts this week. That is what it is about. Let people enjoy the benefits of economic prosperity. Let people enjoy the benefits that we are achieving with so many being in the workforce. The unemployment level is as low as 2.5 per cent in this city, the lowest level of unemployment of any centre in Australia.

This government purports to be concerned about all these people, the retirees, those on fixed incomes and the single families. It talks about a poverty trap and then the money is ripped straight back off them when interest rates go up. In fact, the poverty talk is rhetoric. It is nothing but rhetoric because when you get the chance to help people who are struggling, when you get the chance to support this particular bill, you run for cover because it is not your idea.

Mr Barr: Maybe the commonwealth could invest in health and education.

MR MULCAHY: It is not your idea and you would rather spend it on parties in parks and crazy and extravagant ideas such as million dollar icons and works of art on Northbourne Avenue. Labor purports to represent the ordinary battlers. They do not represent the interests of those people. They show no willingness to take up their cause. If you are concerned about poverty, go out to people who are unemployed, people who are struggling to make ends meet, people from split households. You say you are concerned about poverty, but you want to tax them all heavily on their electricity and their power and their phone. Mr Barr should have the courage to go to those people and tell them about his idea to tax their home with capital gains tax. In his first speech he declared that he wants to tax the family home. This is what Labor is about—high taxation, but little genuine concern for the disadvantaged.

Debate (on motion by Mr Barr ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Public Hospital Board Bill 2007

Mrs Burke, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (11.47): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

It is my great pleasure to present the Public Hospital Board Bill 2007 today. The Liberal opposition at least is attempting to tackle very difficult issues within our public hospital system. By the government's own admission, and contrary to their original assertions that the woes of the hospitals are about money and, more lately, beds, the major issues facing our public hospitals are systemic management issues. Funny, that! I have been saying that in this place and publicly for months.

Mr Mulcahy: And acknowledged now by Mr Stanhope.

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