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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 2 Hansard (7 March) . . Page.. 372..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

"war widows pensions", and show this house how we have reduced this, or to stand up in this place and make a public apology for it. I can tell you this for free: she has got it wrong, she will get it wrong again, and before the election she will get it wrong again.

MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. What effect-despite your saying that there are no changes, there are-will these changes-implemented under determination 2006/2, as opposed to 2005/1, Housing Assistance Act 1987-have on the way in which rents are determined for all who are on some form of veterans' entitlement?

MR HARGREAVES: Again-I wish I had a textacolour and a big piece of butcher's paper-there has been no change to veterans' entitlements. There is none, and that is the end of the story.

Alexander Maconochie Centre

MR GENTLEMAN: Is the Chief Minister aware of comments made by the chief executive of the ACT chamber of commerce, Mr Peters, on ABC local radio this morning that, in view of the economic situation, the government should abandon the construction of the Alexander Maconochie Centre? What is the status of work on the project? Is Mr Peters correct in saying that the prison is a waste of money?

MR STANHOPE: Regrettably, I am aware of Mr Peters's quite uninformed comments on radio this morning. I have to say, and I think it is a fair comment, that I think Mr Peters is alone amongst the business community on this issue. His comments are not shared by any other business representative organisation, business organisation or business person that I am aware of. I think that if one were to have regard to the attitude of the master builders association or the Canberra Business Council one would be aware of the stark contrast between the views expressed by Mr Peters and those of other more mainstream business representative organisations.

Indeed, as far as I am aware, the only Canberra organisation that reflects the same view or shares the view of Mr Peters on the ACT prison and the desirability of this project is the Liberal Party of the ACT. I think it is fair to say that Mr Peters, along with many others, indeed everybody else, had the opportunity to express his views on the project, whether it be during the preliminary assessment phase or the public notification phase of the development application but, of course, he chose not to. That is, to some extent, a hallmark of Mr Peters and the chamber of commerce.

I think we all recall the development by the Treasurer, Mr Quinlan, of the economic white paper, a most significant piece of research and strategic planning in relation to the future of the ACT economy, perhaps the most significant undertaken ever in the ACT, certainly since self-government. Through its chief executive, Mr Peters, the chamber of commerce, an organisation which purports to represent businesses of the ACT, chose not to engage in the consultation on the economic white paper. That is quite remarkable. It is a coincidence surely, but perhaps not, that the only ACT organisation that shared the approach and attitude of Mr Peters to the economic white paper was, once again, the Liberal Party of the ACT. Something of a trend is being exhibited here.

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