Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 15 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 December 2005) . . Page.. 4738 ..
was had then? Kerrie Tucker was leading the charge. A year later, a new Greens picked it up and ran it. The Libs jumped on it this time, whereas they did not the time before. Why did they not the time before? It was because the detailed assessment that was undertaken by the Office of Sustainability of implementing particular initiatives within the strategy was costed at $140 million to meet 70 per cent of the target.
The question was asked after the then and continuing Leader of the Opposition, for the time being, had indicated that they were not going to build the prison, so they could put all the bricks and mortar from the prison into bricks and mortar somewhere else. But they were not going to put it into bricks and mortar; they were going to put it into salaries for one year. They were going to convert the capital for the prison into recurrent expenditure for staff at the hospital.
Along the way, they realised what a goose the Leader of the Opposition was making of himself about those particular numbers. When it was revealed that the Liberal Party was also committed to $140 million of expenditure on greenhouse, they suddenly decided, “Oops, let us go a bit quiet on this. We have just spent $120 million of bricks and mortar for the prison on salaries for the hospital; we had better just go a bit quiet on the $140 million of greenhouse expenditure to meet 70 per cent of the target which we have just picked up.” It is interesting that, last time round, before the last election, the Liberals went a bit quiet on the $140 million.
Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I ask you to draw the Chief Minister back to the question, which was: which eminent scientists did he consult before changing his policy?
MR SPEAKER: Come to the subject matter of the question.
MR STANHOPE: I did not read the reports of the eminent scientists, so I am at somewhat of a disadvantage. I did not read that particular article. I must say—and I hope Ms Beattie will forgive me—I tend not to read the hysterical stuff on the latest shock-horror revelations which are a repeat, of course, of the shock-horror revelations that were reported 18 months ago. I thought, “Goodness me, I read this 18 months ago. I do not need to read it again.” The same suspects from the ANU and the CSIRO are trotted out. They are always eminent scientists.
The question that was put contained the words “relatively cheaply”. Is it not lovely that, to a scientist sitting in splendid isolation, trying to get his latest invention commercialised, $140 million is relatively inexpensive? The important word in the question that the member asked was “relative”. Relative to whom and relative to what? $140 million is not relatively inexpensive; it is extremely expensive; it is money we do not have to implement 70 per cent of the programs that are included in a completely flawed strategy that, when in government, the Liberal Party did nothing to implement. Is not this remarkable!
Go back and have a look at this strategy and what the Liberal Party when it was in government did. It did nothing, absolutely nothing. This is classic pea and thimble.
Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: under standing order 118 (b) he cannot