Page 1965 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

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to decentralise the APS. One of their key policies was to take jobs away from Canberra. Even our own senator, Zed Seselja, would not stand up for the rights of Canberrans when his colleagues called for territory rights to be restored.

In the recent budget handed down by the former coalition government, the ACT was allocated only 0.3 per cent of all infrastructure spending—0.3 per cent. Our population is 1.68 per cent of the Australian population, and yet here we were, allocated just 0.3 per cent. I do not think any member in this place could argue that that is fair. To add insult to injury, the announcement during the election campaign that the Liberals planned to cut $3.3 billion from the public service was yet another blow to Canberrans.

I am optimistic that this city will be well served under the new Labor majority government. I look forward to seeing what this new era of progressive government in Australia will bring. It is in the best interests of all in this place to work collaboratively with the Labor majority government to ensure that Canberrans get their fair share.

MS LEE (Kurrajong—Leader of the Opposition) (3.18): I have to say that when I saw Mr Pettersson’s motion on the notice paper, I was—and am still, to this day—very confused about the whole point of this motion. I think it calls for the ACT government to work collaboratively with the newly elected federal Labor government. If it takes a motion from a Labor backbencher to call on his Assembly leader to work collaboratively with his federal Labor leader then I think that says more about the lack of confidence that Mr Pettersson has in the Chief Minister than anything else.

It is astounding. This comes from the same party, two members of which, including a minster yesterday, told us that we were wasting our time in this place debating almost $9 million worth of taxpayer funds being awarded to one contractor. To this day—we are 24 hours in—no-one can tell me what it is actually for. This is extraordinary,

I was not going to waste time on this. That is why I do not even have notes. But let us put a few things on the record. Enough of this self-congratulation. Whilst of course we acknowledge and accept that the Australian voting public have elected a Labor government, you got 30 per cent of the vote nationally. So instead of getting on your high horse, how about a bit of humility and saying, “Isn’t it a privilege. We have been elected and we are going to do the best that we can”? But why should I be surprised? I also note that Mr Pettersson, in his speech, spoke about housing a number of times, so I look forward to getting his support for my motion that is next.

In all seriousness, despite what a joke of a motion this is, can I say for the record that, despite the disappointment in the result federally, it is amazing to see a record number of First Nations MPs elected and a record number of women and people from the CALD community. I think it is wonderful that our federal parliament is starting to look a little more like the community that it serves. I think that is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It is of course in stark contrast to what we see on the side of Labor and the Greens in this chamber. But it is absolutely wonderful to see.

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