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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Hansard Week 4 (9 April) . . Page.. 1205..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

nonsense. The RSL development will be approved and Constitution Avenue will, in time—either by the commonwealth or by the ACT government—be upgraded.

Mr Smyth: Oh, so we're going to carry the cost.

MR STANHOPE: We do run Canberra.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Pratt?

MR PRATT: Chief Minister, what action are you taking to stand up for Canberra against the federal government on this matter?

MR STANHOPE: I could rant and rail and grandstand and do the sorts of things that Mr Seselja has indicated today that he would do. "I can guarantee,"he says—if only I get a little bit of help from my colleagues, I suppose he means—"that I will stand up for Canberra."

We can all rant and rave and pull our hair and scream and shout and throw tantrums in relation to decisions that other governments take. What I have done in relation to Constitution Avenue and the withdrawal of funding, which I regret enormously and which I think was a bad and wrong decision and an unnecessary decision that the commonwealth has taken, is that I have met and spoken directly with the chief of staff of the Prime Minister on this issue and put my position to him strongly and bluntly. I have met and spoken with the Minister for Finance, Lindsay Tanner, and I have put my position in relation to Constitution Avenue strongly and firmly. I have met with the Minister for Home Affairs, the minister with responsibility for the territories, and I have put my position in relation to Constitution Avenue strongly and firmly.

I have met with my three federal colleagues: the member for Canberra, the member for Fraser and the Labor senator for the ACT. I have made representations to them about this particular decision, and I have asked them to make all representations available to them or possible in relation to their government's decision in relation to Constitution Avenue.

What have you done? That is what I have done. I have met now with six separate or individual members, including three ministers and a parliamentary secretary and two

other members of the commonwealth parliament and I have put the position firmly and strongly. I am sure that as I continue my negotiations we will achieve a resolution.

ACTION bus service—Seniors Week

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and it is in relation to ACT Seniors Week. Can the minister advise the Assembly what initiatives ACTION is taking in support of ACT Seniors Week?

Mrs Dunne: Mr Speaker, hasn't that question already been answered in response to Dr Foskey's question?

MR HARGREAVES: No. Can we stop the clock while we are considering this? This is the second time she has wasted time.


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