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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 24 March 2010) . . Page.. 1420 ..


is is bad leadership. It is a minister or a series of ministers who are unable to control their departments and unable to do what the people of Canberra elected them to do.

That Ernst & Young report was limited to the territory and municipal services department. I wonder, if a similar report was commissioned for each department in the ACT government, how many other systemic cultural problems there would be. We have heard in the last couple of months in particular about the health issues at the Canberra Hospital. Again, this is about core, systemic cultural problems. We have got them in Health and we have got them in TAMS. Do we have them in other departments?

I think the onus is on this government to get to the bottom of it. I think the onus is on this government to commission an Ernst & Young style report into the other departments to see whether the systemic cultural problems are prevalent across all departments in the ACT. In which case, what does that tell us? That tells us that there is a serious problem with cabinet and a serious inability to lead, to make decisions properly and to actually deliver services for Canberrans.

As for the crew opposite, these five ministers, I do not think I would trust them to run a corner store, let alone a $3.7 billion budget, a multibillion dollar economy. If you are going to entrust them with a $25 billion economy, you would think they would have some skills. You would think they would have some leadership and you would think they would have some decision-making ability. But obviously they do not, as shown in the Ernst & Young report commissioned by the government and reluctantly released after pressure from the opposition.

Mr Smyth’s motion talks about a number of the key problems and the Gungahlin Drive extension. As to the $20 million blow-out in the Gungahlin Drive extension, there is one piece which is so symbolic. It is really champagne Labor when it comes to capital works. Just this morning driving from Nicholls to work, to the Assembly, it took an hour and 10 minutes—an hour and 10 minutes to go 15 kilometres. In that same time I could probably have ridden my bike from Nicholls to here, back to Nicholls and be half-way here again. If I did not need a car when I am here, that would be a good option.

That said, the off-road bike paths are deteriorating and falling apart so much that I probably would have crashed or had a puncture on the way and would have been delayed anyway. Or I could have been waiting for an ACTION bus and doubled the numbers—and that includes the bus driver—and given $3.80 to the ACT budget. Talking about ACTION, that brings us to the $8.5 million subsidy that the ACT taxpayer is giving to ACTION with regard to dead running.

The dead-running saga is absolutely appalling. Here we have yet another example of a minister who is unable to control that authority. We have a minister who is unable to put his foot down and say: “This isn’t good enough. We have to change.” I think there are some cultural issues within ACTION. A number of people in this chamber would be aware of some of those cultural issues. It is incumbent upon this government and this minister to do something about it. He has been in the job for nine years and we still have not seen inroads into the ACTION authority to make it efficient and boost


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