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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012-2013 Week 1 Hansard (28 November) . . Page.. 136..


But no amount of dogma from the opposition about cars and how they represent families will change the fact, proven across the world, that the only lasting way to reduce traffic congestion is by improving public transport. There are actually limits as to how many roads you can build and how much you can widen them.

Let me turn briefly to the tax reforms. I would have thought that being told by the expert who did the work in the first place that the Leader of the Opposition's assertions were wrong would have been enough of a cue to just step quietly back and let it go, particularly now the election is over and the short slogan is no longer needed. But that is clearly not going to be the case and we are going to have to wait till 2016, with the benefit of four years of rates notices in front of them, and then perhaps we will see from the Canberra Liberals an acceptance that rates will not have tripled, and nothing even remotely like it.

The tax reforms are complicated. Pretending that you can capture them in a three-word slogan or even a whole sentence really is a disservice to the people of Canberra and puts Mr Seselja as the only political leader, Labor, Liberal or Green, in the whole country that cannot accept that stamp duty is an inefficient tax and that it is in our economic interest to get rid of it.

As we said during the campaign on many occasions—

Mr Smyth: On a point of order—sorry to interrupt.

MADAM SPEAKER: Could we stop the clock, please.

Mr Smyth: I was just curious as to the allotment of 15 minutes to Mr Rattenbury for this debate.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, the standing orders say that the first crossbench member speaking will be given 15 minutes. I think it is probably not a debate for now but something that, if members wish to raise this issue, admin and procedure might consider. But as the standing orders currently stand, and Mr Rattenbury holds a sort of a dual role of a member of the government and also a member of a crossbench party, and that is represented by extra allowance and the like for staff, I think that it is within the bounds of the standing orders that Mr Rattenbury be allocated 15 minutes to speak. That would mean, of course, that every time Mr Rattenbury speaks on a motion for the first time he will get 15 minutes to speak.

Mr Smyth: I would seek your advice. Perhaps you are right that admin and procedure may be the place for it but the standing order also refers to the first government member speaking. Given that Mr Rattenbury is a minister, therefore he is a member of the government, what in effect we have now is two government members each getting 15 minutes. He is either a member of the government or he is not, and there needs to be a primacy, I suspect, of whether he is government first or crossbench first. I would suspect that he is a member of the government first if he is taking the wages.


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