Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3949..
MR SPEAKER: Mr Barr, be quiet.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.
Questions without notice
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. Mr Hargreaves's career as a minister has been a litany of failures. For example, there have been cycle lanes, the Grassby statue, the GDE, poor maintenance of roads, poor maintenance of infrastructure such as drains, the busway, bus interchange security, the FireLink fiasco, cuts to bus services, the closure of the Griffith library, the closure of the Civic shopfront, his appalling performances at estimates in two successive years, the end of MACMA, slow progress in public housing re-developments, and a lack of consultation with the community. We have now seen you intervene on the issue of the Tharwa bridge. Does Mr Hargreaves still have your full confidence as a minister?
MR STANHOPE: He certainly does. He is an exemplary minister. Not only does he have my confidence and that of my government but also he has the confidence of the people of Tuggeranong. If we were to compare the electoral results in Tuggeranong over the last three elections we would all be very aware of the extent to which the people of Tuggeranong and Canberra have confidence in Mr Hargreaves. It is a record of which he can be enormously proud.
We can list a range of issues or subjects that are paraded as supposed or alleged failings. I see thrown in there for good measure the demise of MACMA. The arrangements put in place in relation to MACMA and multicultural affairs are actually of enormous credit to John Hargreaves and this government.
I challenge you, Mr Stefaniak—and indeed any member of the Liberal Party—to go to any multicultural or ethnic-based group in the ACT and ask them to nominate who it is within this Assembly that has stood up unremittingly, unabashed, with courage in front of the multicultural community and their groups and defended them against the sorts of attacks that we see from the Liberal Party in campaigns such as Lindsay. Where were the Liberals in relation to multicultural affairs—an issue that you identify as a failing? Where were the Liberals in the ACT Assembly during the absolutely scandalous attack by the Liberal Party of Australia on Muslims throughout Australia within the last two weeks?
You dare to stand in this place and cast aspersions on a member of this government—on Mr Hargreaves—in relation to his capacity to represent the multicultural communities of the ACT when you, to your eternal shame, within the last two weeks stood by whilst your party distributed race hate—I repeat: race hate—campaign literature of an order not seen in Australia for decades. You stand condemned for your complicity and the actions and behaviour of your party.