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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 2899..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

What has been the result? The government has sold off the assets. Have we seen significant amounts of spending on infrastructure? You sold off assets. Have you put it back into infrastructure? No, you have not. Has anyone seen great infrastructure projects as a result of this windfall? What is the biggest infrastructure project we are going to see from this government? It is the prison. At a time of booming revenue and a booming economy, we have seen barely any increase in expenditure on significant infrastructure projects. Have we seen a great upgrade of our road network in the last few years? Have we seen a dam built? Have we seen our water infrastructure significantly upgraded? No, we have not. Have the people of the ACT seen a significant increase in the level of services? Are we seeing waiting lists slashed? No, we have not seen waiting lists slashed in this time.

The Treasurer talked about the GDE. Road funding is about the only thing they are spending money on at this stage. They seem to have diverted all other road funding into the GDE. There has been a blow-out in the cost of the GDE, in part because of the government's mismanagement, yet when we drive down Adelaide Avenue we see the massive potholes that Mr Hargreaves refers to. They cannot even look after the basics like the bridge in Tharwa. We have seen example after example of declining service. Money is not being spent on infrastructure. Let us be clear about this. The boom time revenues are unprecedented. They are unlikely to be seen again any time soon. The people of the ACT could reasonably expect better services, better roads and better water infrastructure. Has that happened? No, it has not. That is going to be legacy of this government.

The end result is that close to 39 schools will be closed and taxes and charges will go up. We have not seen upgrades in infrastructure. We have not seen improvements in services. At the end of that boom revenue we will see the closure of 39 schools and massive increases in taxes and charges to cover government spending. Before the last election the Treasurer told us not to fear a majority government. The people of the ACT have every reason to believe that they should have feared a majority government. We are now seeing the results.

Let us look at some of the individual increases. The suburb of Phillip in the electorate of Molonglo has had its land values increased by 13 per cent. However, rates and taxes have increased by 41 per cent, from $825 to $1,167. Land values in Lyons increased by 10 per cent, but rates and taxes have increased by 31 per cent, from $1,142 to $1,496. In Rivett land values are up by 11 per cent, but the overall increase per household is 37 per cent, from $925 to $1,266, and their school will be closed down.

Mr Stanhope: Are you going to reopen it?

MR SESELJA: Again, this is the argument from the Chief Minister. He says, "If you had done as bad a job as we have, what would you do?"That is the question: if you had squandered the revenue for the last five years and not provided better services and not provided better infrastructure, what would you do then? Would you close the schools or would you reopen them? Would you leave the taxes the same or would you increase them? That is the question. We would not have stuffed things up the way you have. There is no doubt about it.


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