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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 4 Hansard (20 March) . . Page.. 1154..


I am sure Mr Smyth would be amenable if you said, "Let's negotiate around those dates."But just simply writing the dates out of it weakens the effect of what Mr Smyth is trying to achieve, and I think that is very disappointing. This is about trying to make more effective governance. And when you look at things like the Hawke review—and as its intent it said that it wanted to have streamlined government, it wanted to make sure that processes were aligned and communication was then improved—I would have thought that would have been in accordance with the government's intent from its own Hawke review.

When you look at nature conservation, I think that it is pretty clear that we could do that better. And I know that Mr Smyth is regularly talking about some of his experiences out there as a volunteer firefighter when he comes back and talks about the condition of various parks. It is not just the opposition saying this. I will quote the Conservation Council ACT Region, who recently noted:

Many decisions seem to be made in silos, with poor interdepartmental communication and coordination or, at times, even poor intradepartmental communication.

That is simply not good enough, and what we need to do is improve that and get it done. It seems remarkable that in this place, where we have all three parties agreeing and having been in accord for some time—indeed, two of the parties have taken it as election policy—we have a situation where this is still stalled in the Assembly and the government are refusing to say by what date they will actually be able to get this done. Again, what we are seeing is some rhetoric from the government, the right noises, but a failure in actually translating Mr Smyth's good ideas into effect on the ground.

So I welcome Mr Smyth's motion. I think it is a good, common-sense motion, and I reiterate the opposition's disappointment that the government is being so weak in this instance to say, "Yes, it's a good idea, we will get it done at some time in the future,"without actually putting a commitment there and saying, "Yes, you're right, let's get this done."And it should not be so hard, as Mr Smyth said, to get this done within a few short months.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.31): Indolence must be very pleasing. The minister sits there. He did not have a great deal to say. He really did not make a good case as to why it should not happen. He sits there looking very smug. And I think it is a shame, because what it shows is that the government do not have the wherewithal to make this happen. "By 30 June"means they would have had about eight months in which to make this happen. And that is not an unreasonable time frame in which to get an administrative arrangement in place.

Listen to Mr Corbell—and people should read that speech again, because that is a workshop on muddying the waters on a pretty straightforward issue—"On one hand, we are doing this; on the other hand, we are doing that."Considering he was so short in his time, he did not actually have a great deal to say. In fact, none of us who has spoken has reached the time limit for our speeches, which I think must be somewhat of a miracle for a motion in this Assembly. And I think that shows the clarity of why this motion should be supported today and that the amendment should go down.


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