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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3518 ..


like to correct the record. At no point did I refer to the leader of the federal Liberal Party as a lowlife. I am sure members would recall I referred to the leader of the federal Liberal Party as a Luddite on more than one occasion, but it has come up in Hansard as a lowlife. The Leader of the Opposition is not a lowlife but he certainly is a Luddite.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you for that clarification, Mr Barr.

Australian Greens—policies

Debate resumed.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (3:10): This is a very important motion and, when Ms Hunter spoke before, at no time did I hear her disavow any of what Mr Seselja has in his motion. So what we really do have is confirmation that, under Greens policy, if they have the balance of power in the Senate after Saturday, cost of living across Australia will go up. And that is the great fear, because you never get a costing from the Greens.

We saw it indeed after the ACT election where, simply, their policy on public housing was worth—what?—about a billion dollars. It was only a billion dollars, but no detail, no answer as to where it is coming from, no notion of how it should be paid for. It was just a good idea. Indeed, if you look at the Greens’ policy platform for the coming election, there are a tremendous amount of expensive ideas in the platform.

One of the costs of living, particularly in the ACT, of great importance is the cost of electricity. A lot of families use electricity for their heating. The Greens intend to reform the national electricity market to remove the bias towards centralised coal-fired generation. If you are going to reform the national electricity market in this vein—and it goes on to talk about not subsidising coal, not allowing public funding to refurbish any existing coal-fired power stations, no matter how inefficient they are—any reform of this sort of level to the national electricity market is simply going to drive prices up. But yet again, at the end of the day, there is absolutely no costing on how to achieve it and what will be the impact on ordinary Australians.

In speaking to the motion, Mr Seselja spoke about health care in particular. Again, we had confirmation from Ms Hunter that the policy is that the 30 per cent rebate goes. And it is aimed at the rich, apparently. “Millionaires should not be getting a rebate.” Who gets the rebate? Who gets this money? Who is assisted to remain in private health care by the 30 per cent funding? According to a press release from the AHIA, if you look at public health cover:

It is a myth that private health cover is for the rich. The latest statistics from the Australian Tax Office and Australian Bureau of Statistics show that of the 11.5 million Australians who have Private Health Insurance: (9.9 million have hospital cover)

5.6 million Australians have an income less than $50,000 per annum …

Welcome to the Greens’ new rich. If you have got $50,000 as an income, you are rich and we are going to take your private health cover subsidy off you. The AHIA also


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