Page 3991 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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Commission says and what is in a budget no longer matters because you can just spin your way out of it; it does not matter whether it is the truth or not? This is a post-truth government. It is a post-truth government because this is in black and white. Are members going to vote today to say, “No, the truth doesn’t matter. The RoGS data doesn’t matter. The facts don’t matter. What is in the budget doesn’t matter. All that matters is that we know why it is like that. That is all that matters.”

Mr Gentleman came into this place and said, “We do not have the lowest funded police force in Australia.” The facts, as published by the Australian federal government, dispute that. He is not coming in here and saying “No, it is not us; it is New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania or the Northern Territory.” He has not done that because he cannot, because to do so would be compounding the mistruths he has already stated.

What we have here today, members, is that he has told a mistruth. He has misled this place. You all know it. He knows it; he has not tried to defend the numbers. Mr Braddock knows it; he is not trying to defend the numbers. But they are conflating the arguments. They are saying why the ACT is the lowest funded to try and excuse the fact that he misled this Assembly. It appears that members are happy to allow ministers to come in here and say what they hell they like, to make up numbers or to say whatever they like, but when the evidence is pointed out, they say, “Well, the facts don’t matter. As long as you can say why and come up with a bit of an excuse for it then that is okay.”

If that is the standard that you are going to hold yourselves to, good luck to you; that is fine. But do not think that we will not point out that this is a minister who is a repeated storyteller, let’s say. He is someone that comes into this place and tells mistruths and misleads. We will point it out every time. We will have these motions every time. I must say, I am not surprised about Mr Gentleman, but I am disappointed by the Greens. Are they so gullible that they are going to buy this spin? Are they buying this spin that the facts do not matter as long as you can try to weasel your way out of it? It is pathetic.

The Greens used to stand for something. They used to say, “We might have policy disputes but at least we will try and stick to the facts. We will not allow ministers to be completely dishonest.” The Greens used to have those sorts of principles. They are devoid of principles. I am not surprised that Mr Gentleman is devoid of principles—we have seen it for years now—but if the Greens are going to join in in allowing a minister to operate in this deceitful way in this place, it is absolutely shameful. If Caroline Le Couteur saw this today, she would laugh at you lot. She would see you for what you are. She would be disgusted at your behaviour; there is no doubt. While Ms Le Couteur would have good policy debates, she would not allow ministers to come into this place and tell a bald-faced lie.

Question put:

That the motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

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