Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 October 2010) . . Page.. 4697 ..
term which they are talking about, which is “cuts”. They cannot use the term. They say “on the impact of any proposed changes to student services”. They use weasel words in their amendment to effectively give the government a blank cheque in going about these cuts.
The Greens have been found wanting on this issue. They have been silent on this issue while Mr Doszpot has been doing the hard work. We saw that in the response from Ms Hunter today. Instead of joining with the community and, on behalf of the community, holding this government and this minister to account, she attacked Mr Doszpot for doing the work on their behalf. We have a situation where the government does not want to listen. It goes through a sham consultation process. The community are rightly concerned. Mr Doszpot, as the shadow minister, goes to those people and says, “How can I help?” He actually gets an outcome for them. It is not the total outcome we want, but he gets a significant outcome. What do the Greens do? They attack him.
If anything highlights how closely tied they are to this government, it came in Ms Hunter’s performance today. Why would you attack Mr Doszpot for standing up on behalf of these parents? Someone has to. Someone has to speak on their behalf. The government is not doing so. The government is treating them poorly. The Greens are not listening and Steve Doszpot stands up and takes up their case. This amendment should not be supported. It should be withdrawn.
Mrs Dunne: It is a disgrace.
MR SESELJA: It is a disgraceful amendment because it effectively endorses the government’s approach and allows them a blank cheque as they go about cutting these crucial areas. That is what this amendment does. We believe that vulnerable children should not be the ones who are bearing the brunt of the government’s mismanagement.
As we have pointed out time and time again, there are lots of areas of highly questionable spending, highly inefficient spending, which the government have not bothered to cut. What they are now proposing to do is to cut services to our most vulnerable. We say, “No, that should not happen.” We thought that we might have got some support in the Assembly for this position. I think that if you spoke to people in the community they would say that this is the last place you should be cutting. This is right down at the bottom of the list of where you should be making these savings and these cuts.
This government has made an art form of wasting our money on all sorts of projects. Start there; do not go down the path of saying, “Well, in order to get back to surplus this is the only way we can do it.” That is absolute rubbish and we all know it. As we have seen time and time again, every time the Auditor-General does a report into one of these departments she highlights the wasteful spending. Every time we see one of these projects fall over where millions of dollars have been spent and nothing has been delivered, it highlights the wasteful spending. Target those areas. Get those areas right and do not cut these critical services.
This amendment should not be supported. It should be withdrawn. Mr Doszpot’s motion as it stands should be supported because that is the only way the Assembly can