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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 26 June 2008) . . Page.. 2132 ..


saga about the data centre and the power station in Tuggeranong, but I still think there are a number of clouds hanging over this, particularly about the process that was involved. We will not go through what happened in the debate yesterday, but even now there are so many questions on notice that remain unanswered over this whole sad and sorry saga that you have to question whether the people of the ACT will ever get a genuine answer as to how this debacle was allowed to happen.

It is interesting that just about every piece of advice that the government was presented with, through reports that it commissioned or activities that it started itself before this process, was simply overthrown in the haste of the Chief Minister to appear to be working on the diversification of the ACT economy. He has had seven years for that, and in that seven years there has been no genuine attempt by the government to go out and really look for a future for the ACT. I guess this project came along and, for a desperate Chief Minister, it must have looked like manna from heaven.

Again, just so typical of so many Labor governments, particularly this one, is the inability to deliver properly—that will compound this process—where they trip over themselves in their haste because they have not built the appropriate relationship with the business community; they have not taken the opportunities that have been presented in the last seven years; they have not listened to the community, the people that actually know what goes on out there; and they have not acknowledged that for so much of the time the success of this economy, the ACT’s economy, was simply due to the spending of the Howard Liberal government. I know they do not like to hear that; I know they do not want to hear it. But they have rested on their laurels; they have been along for the ride; they have slipped along on the coat-tails of John Howard; and they have failed to have a strong and concrete approach to delivering a sustainable economy in the long term. You can see that simply in the way that the white paper was abandoned.

We talk about the Canberra plan but the Canberra plan is all but gone and forgotten. We have these grand visions but we have absolutely no idea on how to deliver. Labor governments cannot deliver; this Labor government cannot deliver. They will spend a lot but they will deliver very little for the people of the ACT in this budget.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—part 1.5—Department of Treasury—$49,623,000 (net cost of outputs), $34,450,000 (capital injection), $37,041,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $121,114,000

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (8.19): Treasury encompasses a wide range of matters. There will be, I believe, issues with the infrastructure program that has been put together. You have to compare the potential to the reality of delivery by the Stanhope government over previous years. And I think it is quite interesting to ask the Chief Minister questions about his ability to deliver this. I asked him in estimates:

Chief Minister, can you supply the committee with a full list of all the contingency funds under future provisions and what they are to be used for?


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