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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 30 June 2010) . . Page.. 2976 ..


kids with autism and the long waits those people have to receive services. The waiting times for hearing services and disability services in general are a concern. It really is about your priorities and what you think is important, and the government will be judged on that matter.

Mr Seselja touched on the government office building. We had some discussion about this last evening, and I will not detail it again. But, again, the question has to be asked: what is the purpose of this building? From the data we received, it seems the case is marginal at best. Is that concentration in Civic to the benefit of the city? Is it to the detriment of group centres, particularly Dickson, which will seem to suffer particularly badly from this process? Does it help us in the management of employment in the ACT? The concept is an interesting concept. We have not seen a case for it, and it would be interesting to see that case.

There is another dot point in the priorities—that is, overseeing the implementation of national building projects in the ACT. Again, we have had a bit of a hit-and-miss relationship with the federal government on this. We got some money through building the education revolution and, by all accounts, we seem to have managed that reasonably well—far better than, for instance, New South Wales or some of the other states. But it still concerns me and others on this side of the house that our relationship with the previous Prime Minister could only be described as tenuous at best. I notice already we have got the Chief Minister in conflict with the new Prime Minister on issues of population.

It does concern me that we do not seem to have the relationship that previous chief ministers have had with the Prime Minister of the day, irrespective of their political parties, so that they were able to get action for the ACT and were able to get things rolling. It is nice to see that we have implementation of national building projects, but it would be nice to get some projects to be building. The Rudd government did not deliver a significant project for the ACT. The Rudd government was certainly able to complete some of the projects started under the Howard government, particularly the National Portrait Gallery. Ms Gillard and her government will now be able to open the National Gallery of Australia extensions and outdoor gardens, which, again, were started under the former Howard government.

We need to have that relationship. We need to have an ability to talk. We need to have a shared vision so that things—for instance, the centenary of Canberra—get funded. We need acknowledgment that the national capital matters. As a city we are perhaps not getting what we deserve to get in order to be the national’s capital and to be our home, and that is a shame. Perhaps the government might detail how they are going to improve that relationship with the new Prime Minister.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.8—Department of Treasury—$49,741,000 (net cost of outputs), $41,900,000 (capital injection) and $27,722,000 (payments on behalf of the territory), totalling $119,363,000.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.


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