Page 2482 - Week 07 - Monday, 15 August 2022

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MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (9.30): It seems that we can hardly make it through a sitting week these days without this desperate and out-of-touch opposition bringing a motion of no-confidence that is founded in nothing.

People roll their eyes when they hear that the Canberra Liberals have moved yet another baseless and pointless no-confidence motion on a member of the government.

Mr Parton: They roll their eyes when you stand up, Buddy!

MR GENTLEMAN: They roll their eyes because it comes from the conservative playbook of Zed Seselja. And like her predecessor, Ms Lee does not want to talk about the budget—a budget delivered by one of the ACT’s most successful economic managers.

The ACT economy is booming. The recent State of the states report found that the ACT economy is the second strongest in the country—second only to Victoria. This budget reflects that. The budget deficit is $300 million less than it was predicated last year, and this deficit is expected to shrink in to the future.

Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, household spending is strong—

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, this is a serious matter and if you do not think so I ask you to reflect on your behaviour at the moment.

MR GENTLEMAN: Thank you, Madam Speaker. As I was saying, household spending is strong and we have the lowest unemployment in the country. Make no mistake, these outcomes are a result of a strong fiscal and economic policy implemented by our Chief Minister.

This has enabled this Chief Minister to invest in Canberra’s future. The Barr government will always be committed to improving the lives of working Canberrans. This has been demonstrated in the recent budget—a budget that invests in frontline responders and boosts resources to keep workers safe.

Madam Speaker, the worst part about this political stunt is not the timewasting; instead, it is the hypocrisy of the Canberra Liberals to accuse the Chief Minister of losing confidence and supply when the opposition’s own party is so divided itself. At a time when the Canberra Liberals should be soul-searching after their crushing loss in the recent federal election, it seems to me the Leader of the Opposition is more interested in performative politics than in standing up for what she actually believes in.

We have yet to see any evidence that the Canberra Liberals have learned from their loss. They are still the same old washed-up conservatives—

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