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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 1829..

DR BOURKE: The government is keen to see further integration in tertiary education in the ACT. We have put on hold, as I explained yesterday, the UCIT proposal, and that will now be a matter for the next Assembly.

Ms Gallagher: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.


Debate resumed.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (3.06): I thank members for their contributions to the debate. Of course Mr Smyth continued his negative harping, carping and whining that so typifies his behaviour and it is such a pity that he has such little grace. I realise that the opposition are still stuck in their negative groove that they cannot get out of and I understand—

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, I would like you to rule on whether or not Ms Porter's tirade against Mr Smyth is a personal reflection and therefore against the standing orders.

MR SPEAKER: This is an interesting question you put to me, Mr Seselja. If I go down this path, we are going to set a very different standard in this chamber to how it has been conducted for the last 31/2 years. Ms Porter, I would ask you to focus on the matter of the motion and less on Mr Smyth.

MS PORTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would just note, with your indulgence, that there was a lot of debate from the opposition that was stuck in the past. Negativity is always damaging to confidence in the ACT and damaging to our economy. I note that in the last debate, before the one that I am now closing, Mr Smyth said that after the election the Canberra Liberals will be in a position to introduce their budget. We should be very afraid of that if it should ever take place, which I should not think it would, because it is like putting the fox in charge of the chook house.

I have got some more comments about Mr Smyth's former employment under Peter Reith who was influential in the Howard years but I suppose, Madam Assistant Speaker, you will probably disallow that, given that previous ruling. So I just remind members that he used to work for Mr Reith and say that we should be very afraid should he ever become our Treasurer. The success of business programs and a positive economic environment across Canberra is aptly demonstrated—

Mr Hargreaves interjecting—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Mr Hargreaves, please be quiet.

MS PORTER: Thank you. Successive business programs and the positive economic environment across Canberra are aptly demonstrated by the arboretum, which anyone can see on our skyline, contrasting with the desert of economic despair in heritage

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