Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (20 September) . . Page.. 2944..
Mr Smyth: Well, why are you causing these problems?
MR HARGREAVES: Have some compassion, you people.
Mr Smyth: You should. What are you doing to fix it?
Mrs Burke: Don't blame us.
MR HARGREAVES: I know it is something new to you. I will try to arrange for an introduction to compassion for you people. It is something that you just have not been introduced to. Mr Speaker, this gentleman could not get to his doctor. He could not afford a taxi and he believes he has to wait for a week before he can get another appointment. If he had received enough notice it would have been okay.
A gentleman arrived in the Assembly this morning in a state of enormous distress and anger because he was not able to get to his very low paying job in Fyshwick. As a result he will lose a day's pay. This would not have happened if we had been able to give notice, as happened on the other two occasions.
This government does not object to responsible action being taken on the part of the union movement if they feel that there is an issue in contention. But what we really find difficult is that these disruptions affect the most disadvantaged in our community. There was no need for this. On radio this morning the union apologised for the inconvenience. One, it was after the event and a bit late and, two, it was hollow. And I, for one, do not accept that apology.
Mr Mulcahy: What do your colleagues think about that?
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Mulcahy, you would not know what it is like to get on a bus, so just be quiet. Mr Speaker, what we would like to see happen is when action like this has to be taken, and in the view of the union it must happen, sufficient notice is allowed to be given to those people who would be adversely affected. And in this case it was not. I really do feel for the school kids and for the elderly who were not able to get to their medical appointments. We could do absolutely nothing about it. I just wish for once in this place that those opposite, especially the shadow minister, would have a little bit of compassion for these people, instead trying to make political capital out of somebody else's pain.
Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd
MR SESELJA: My question is to the Chief Minister. Yesterday, the Speaker tabled a damning report on the Auditor-General's investigation into Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd's financial practices. That report found that tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands, of taxpayers' dollars had been spent inappropriately. It was also noted in the report that the shareholders had failed to lay down benchmarks for accountability. Chief Minister, as one of the two shareholders, why were you not across this agency's finances and why did your government allow such practices to occur without the appropriate checks and balances?