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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3552 .. It is the policy that any ordinary person going to the website would find. It clearly says that they will reduce funding to the non-government sector.

Now, $60 million taken out of the non-government sector in the ACT would be devastating for the non-government education sector. I think I heard the figure of $37 million on private health insurance rebates mentioned. That would be devastating to people who need that money to survive. It is important that we get to the bottom of this matter.

It is like so much that comes out from the Greens. This morning Ms Hunter was quoting figures out of the Australia Institute document about purported losses of jobs and the multiplier effects, so direct job losses and indirect job losses. But when you look at the document, there is no substance to it. There is no mathematical formula; there is no multiplier effect. In some, the direct job losses are less than the indirect; in others, the indirect job losses are greater. The maths on this is quite interesting.

I also note that, when you look at who are the directors of the Australia Institute, there are some very interesting people who are behind this document. One would be Sharan Burrow, listed here as President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. There is this other person called Lin Hatfield Dodds, the National Director of UnitingCare. And there is a third person, Ben Oquist, chief of staff to Senator Bob Brown. When the Greens quoted this document and put it into play, they did not tell us they had written the document.

They are hiding behind the institute. “Yes; let’s start an institute—the Australia Institute, whatever.” We need a little bit of honesty here. If you have got people, including the candidate, who is one of the directors of the institute from which you are quoting the document to give some sort of academic validity to your claims, you should have the courage of your convictions, your words and your work, and stand up and say: “I approved that. I am on the board that set this in play, along with Sharan Burrow, along with Bob Brown’s chief of staff.” That is the genesis of this document.

Mr Rattenbury: Go outside and accuse the Australia Institute of bias, Brendan. Go on.

MR SMYTH: I have not accused anybody of bias. I have said that you should tell people you are on the board. The convenor of the Greens quoted a document from an organisation that the chief of staff of Bob Brown and Lin Hatfield Dodds are on the board of. If you do not see that as something that one should question, Mr Rattenbury, I am very concerned. I thought you had more integrity than that. I thought you understood how important it is to present an honest front and an open front to people so that they can get a reasonable argument.

If you think, as you so clearly do, that it is a joke that you have got the convenor of the Greens quoting from a document on behalf of the Greens Senate candidate when the Greens Senate candidate is on the board of the organisation that promoted the document, you need to go and have a good look at yourself. This is the problem with the Greens.

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