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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 4103..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

this minister has been under such pressure that he has turned around in this thin-skinned way in order to try to get some traction back on this issue. His attempt to do so has been pathetic. This amendment would fix it. I am sure that it will not be supported, but it should be supported by this government.

We know that many members who are going to vote for the motion do not actually believe what it says because the case simply has not been made. It has not been made in any way, shape or form. This minister has started out on the attack and has really ended up embarrassing himself and embarrassing this Assembly. It will be an embarrassment when this motion passes because a completely untrue, unfounded statement will be affirmed by this Assembly, by the Labor members of this Assembly, and they stand condemned for that.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning) (4.48): Mr Speaker, I am closing the debate. Mr Speaker, through you to Mr Seselja I say that self-praise is no praise at all. Today we have had the unedifying spectacle of the Liberal Party quickly changing tack on what were the key issues in dispute on this matter, because today in this debate we have not heard from Mr Seselja or from any of those opposite any reiteration of the positions that they put over the last six months.

They have not mentioned the question of value for money. That has no longer been the issue at the core of their debate. They have not mentioned preferential treatment, even though for the last six months that has been at the core of their debate. And they have not mentioned the marketing of the site, even though that was also at the heart of their debate. Instead, all we have had from the Liberal Party has been, "No, no, no. Our emphasis is on some minor administrative matters around customer service."It is about customer service and ACTPLA's customer service manual. Isn't it shocking, Mr Speaker, that the Auditor-General found that there was a breach of ACTPLA's customer service manual? So we have gone from whether the taxpayer got value for money, whether there was appropriate probity on the site and whether there was preferential treatment to there being an appalling breach of ACTPLA's customer service manual.

Mr Speaker, the opposition have challenged me in this debate to highlight issues within the Assembly as well as outside of it. We all know the tenor of the questions that Mr Seselja and others have been asking for the past six to nine months, but I draw Mr Seselja's particular attention to a statement he made in the Assembly on 23 August this year. I think it was during the adjournment debate. In that he outlined his arguments, which were all about value for money, all about marketing, all about probity and preferential treatment. Mr Seselja has tried to pass off his behaviour in this place as though he just asked a couple of questions. Not at all, Mr Speaker; not at all. I draw Mr Seselja's attention to what he said in the adjournment debate on 23 August. He said:

Why was one prospective bidder getting different treatment and different answers ...

Mr Seselja claims that one bidder got preferential treatment. That is what that means. That is clearly what it means.


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