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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3422 ..


The people of the ACT are smarter than that. They will see that their Liberal representatives here have seemingly slunk back into line behind Mr Abbott and are really endorsing the idea that at least 4,000 jobs are slashed from our community. It is something that this government does not support.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.35): It is interesting that, to the best of my knowledge, the only politician in this place that has written to Tony Abbott about the impending cuts is the Leader of the Opposition. It is interesting, given all the cant and the lines and the rhetoric from the Labor Party.

But what have the Labor Party done in the last three years? What did the Labor Party do, what did the Treasurer and Mr Stanhope do, when Kevin Rudd started cutting in the ACT? They said it was quite okay. They said it was all right. They said: “It’s not as bad as we thought it was. That’s okay.” And that is the problem. The inconsistency in the Labor Party over this is just extraordinary.

And where was Katy Gallagher, and indeed where was Meredith Hunter, when the ACT got no roads money from the roads program that was going to every corner of Australia, except, apparently, to Canberra? And where was Ms Gallagher and where was Ms Hunter when the marketing programs of the collecting institutions, the very heart of what Canberra is about and at the core of our tourism trade, were cut? We had the chief cheerleader for the Rudd cuts, Mr Barr, saying: “It’s a good thing to cut the institutions. It means more people will come to Canberra because there will not be travelling exhibitions.” That is who the chief cheerleader was.

Where were Ms Hunter and Ms Gallagher when Senator Kate Lundy ran her personal, vicious and uncalled-for vendetta against the NCA? Where were those opposite and on the crossbench standing up for the NCA when that was occurring? They were silent, mute, crawled under a rock, hiding, lost in the fog, because they did not care, because the unity of the left and the far left did not care, about those ACT public servants, did they? And, when the inquiry was undertaken, and the NCA was basically vindicated and Senator Kate Lundy was shamed for her personal, vicious, vindictive vendetta against the NCA and they had the backflip, there was no condemnation from those opposite over that activity.

The piousness of the two speeches so far about cuts and the finger-pointing are just ludicrous. Nobody likes the cuts. Senator Gary Humphries has said that. The Leader of the Opposition, Zed Seselja, has said that. But we have done something about it. What have you guys done? Absolutely nothing, and that is the problem.

Ms Gallagher: You have written a letter—big deal.

MR SMYTH: What have you done? What have you done, Treasurer? Name one thing you have done, Treasurer.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Order, members! Stop the clock, please. Members, I have been particularly hard on Mr Hanson and Mr Smyth on the issue of interjections, so I think a reasonable reciprocation is in order.


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