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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3915..


MR MULCAHY: Thank you, Chief Minister, for that answer. In the context of the allocation you have mentioned, can you advise the Assembly whether you have commenced looking for suitable accommodation for your own retirement and whether you believe you will be requiring that any time soon?

MR STANHOPE: I welcome the question, Mr Mulcahy. I am ageing nicely in place at the moment, pre retirement. I am 57 but it is an important question. Fifty-seven years old: it is an important question. I have always anticipated or imagined that I would remain in the community that I have lived in for almost 40 years now—Belconnen, the heart of Canberra and the soul of Canberra.

I have not yet provided for my retirement. I do not intend to retire formally for some little time yet. What I have provided for, though, is—I have purchased a burial plot. Whilst I am not anticipating either retirement or death, I have not yet imagined where it is that I might retire to, though I do quite like the look of the Illawarra retirement village on the shores of Lake Ginninderra.

But I certainly have already purchased something I hope I will not need to access for some decades yet. I do have a burial plot bought and paid for, Mr Mulcahy, but don't read anything into that.

Gas-fired power station

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister. This year you told the estimates committee:

It would be a risky business indeed for the government, all of sudden, to get into the game of advising major multinational specialist corporations about their commercial requirements.

How does this reconcile with the decisions by your government to force ActewAGL to include a peaking power station as part of their development application as a condition for the agreement for sale of the block of land?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am intrigued. I will bet that some time over the next seven weeks the Liberal Party will stand up and say that they are the party of business, the party determined to broaden the economic base and the party that you can trust to drive the growth of the ACT economy. They have spent, what, the last four months now talking down the town, talking down Canberra as a place in which to invest and talking down the concept or the notion that Canberra is open for business.

I think we saw perhaps the most reasonable and balanced piece of journalism we have seen on this subject in last Sunday's Canberra Times by Emily Sherlock. I acknowledge the balance in the sense: is Canberra open for business? Yes, it is under a Labor government; no, it is not under a Liberal government.

To go again to this falsehood, this spin that is being desperately sought to be driven here today at the end of a very bad week for the Liberal Party, let us create some little diversion. Let us get off Bill Stefaniak and the division within the party and get on—


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