Page 2687 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022
is quoting from a document, he can be asked to table that document, under standing orders. I think he will be delighted to; there are millions of them out there. He can table it. But how could a piece of paper that you are quoting from be a prop?
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hanson. If Mr Parton is reading from a document, that is fine. Please proceed.
MR PARTON: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. In document No 4.12 million, we have the ever-smiling Chief Minister talking to us about sustainable households and saving the planet. This is actually comedy gold. It is absolutely amazing.
Let us all be honest about what we are talking about here, because these so-called newsletters have descended into the realm of campaign material, so let us be honest about what is going on. We are all friends in here. We all get along well in here. Let us be honest about it. The reason that this government wants to cling on to the Our Canberra newsletter in this form is that this is campaign material which is not included in the expenditure cap in an election year, and it is political propaganda which is paid for entirely by the taxpayer. It is a pretty good lurk, isn’t it? I can sort of understand why they want to hang onto it.
My message to Canberrans is this: whichever way you vote, every time you get a copy of the glossy communist times in your letterbox, think about your rates—think about how much your rates have gone up—think about who paid for it, think about the damage that is being done to the environment as a consequence of it, and make it known to the government that you do not care for this rubbish.
It is almost bizarre that, at a time when the government is rolling out 8.4 million copies of this newsletter across the city at taxpayers’ expense, if I, as a local Brindabella member, a non-executive opposition member, want to communicate a message, for argument’s sake, to the people of Theodore about upgrades to a dangerous intersection on Tharwa Drive, it is against the rules for me to even print a document on my Assembly printer. I am not even allowed to do that because that is a blight on democracy, based on the rules here! I cannot do that. I have to stroll on down to Officeworks and buy my own printer before printing out my material and then walk around and deliver it myself. I did seek advice from the Clerk again to get an absolute ruling that we are allowed to use Assembly electricity to do that. Indeed he suggested yes; we do not have to steal down into an alleyway and find a plug to plug it into, to get our communication out!
If you did not know any better, Mr Assistant Speaker, you would swear that we had a long-term government in power here and that they have gone through a process of trying to make it tougher for the opposition to have a voice. And the Greens are absolutely complicit in all of this. How dare you force people to eat their soup with a shallow bamboo spoon, while at the same time rolling out millions upon millions of glossy, full-colour propaganda.
Please understand that I am not being critical of your plastics policy. That is not what I am doing. I am not being critical of that at all. All am I saying is: how dare you be so arrogantly hypocritical?