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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 25 August 2010) . . Page.. 3953 ..


MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (7.47): The opposition will not be supporting the amendments from Ms Bresnan. Unfortunately, as is too often the case, we see the attempt to water down a motion it would seem for no other reason than to spare the government from actually facing any real scrutiny in this place. We certainly do not support that kind of approach which is epitomised by the Greens again tonight.

I do have to respond to some of the extraordinary rant that we heard from the Chief Minister. It really was one of the most extraordinary performances we have seen in here for some time. Mr Stanhope was so over the top in his attack on Jeremy Hanson that you would think perhaps Mr Hanson may have just touched a nerve. Based on the vehemence of his response, perhaps, Mr Hanson, you are actually on to something. You are actually perhaps onto something with this motion.

I do not know what it was that set the Chief Minister off. I do not know whether it was the motion. I do not know whether it was you referring to his terrorism leaks or Terry Hicks, or perhaps it was just his embarrassment about the poor performance of his deputy when it comes to the Calvary issue. There is no doubt, Mr Speaker, that this has been handled terribly from start to finish. It has been handled very poorly. We see that sensitivity across the chamber from Ms Gallagher. We saw it from Mr Stanhope to the point where he went to such lengths as to follow us into the car park to let us know about his displeasure with the motion.

It is embarrassing when we see a leader reduced to that, when we see a leader either so embarrassed by the performance of his deputy or simply so offended by the barbs across the chamber from Mr Hanson, he has to respond with such vitriol and such name-calling. It is interesting to note that Mr Hanson talked about the Chief Minister keeping his word. I think it was only early this evening that he told us he was going to come back into the chamber and he was going to show Mr Hanson how wrong he was. He was going to throw his words back at him. Well, that promise lasted about an hour and half, Mr Speaker.

No doubt he had a look and realised he did not have a case for his outrageous attacks on Mr Hanson. It goes to the fact that he does not have an argument on this. We saw it at the end when he actually started to address the issue. He was forced to concede this point at the end when he said, “Maybe you would have done it differently.” Yes, we would have. We would have done it differently. We would not have sought to spend $77 million of taxpayers’ money for no good reason. That is what we would have done differently. We were clear about that at the time and we are clear about that now. You got it wrong. You were prepared to throw away $77 million of taxpayers’ money for what? It was for an accounting standard that eminent economists were telling you did not preclude you from investing in that hospital.

You were told time and time again. We asked the Treasurer again to point to a third-party validator for the position that she took and she could not find one. There is not one. There is not one. If we accept the argument put forward by the government, put forward by Ms Gallagher, put forward by Mr Stanhope, we are to accept that Katy Gallagher was right and everyone else was wrong. All of that other advice, whether it was from Tony Harris or anyone else, was wrong. Let us just focus on that.


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