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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 21 October 2010) . . Page.. 4910 ..


MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): I would have to say that I also believe that Mr—

Mrs Dunne: On the point of order, Madam Assistant Speaker, that is a nice argument. But when you say that someone uses a deceitful argument, the clear implication is that you are making an assertion about their character and the sorts of arguments they would give and therefore they are deceitful. The member should be asked to withdraw.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you, members, for your contributions. I do not believe there is a point of order. Mr Rattenbury was describing the argument, not Mr Seselja. Mr Rattenbury, you have the floor.

MR RATTENBURY: I think it is an appropriate description because the argument simply does not stack up. “Thirty per cent is painless but 40 per cent is going to ruin us all.” It is the worst kind of Liberal Party dog-whistling that John Howard so epitomised. Mr Seselja has put forward no modelling whatsoever to demonstrate this. He has got nothing to base the difference between the 40 per cent and 30 per cent on. There is not a skerrick of modelling behind it and it is simply embarrassing that that is the kind of argument that is being propagated to make a case in this place.

We do need to be mindful of the financial impacts of these policies. And I think every member of this place has made that observation through the course of the debate already. He cannot stand here today and predict all of the costs. It is impossible to do. Over the next 10 years, as we strive towards this target, technology will change. The federal government will probably finally introduce some substantive policies. A number of things will happen. I think anybody who stood here today and said this is exactly what it is going to cost over the next 10 years would be being untruthful because nobody has that capacity to predict. But we must be vigilant over the next 10 years, as we strive towards this target, to do it in the most economically efficient way we can find. I think that is how we have to also look at the whole equation.

The Liberal Party come into this place and talk about costs all the time. It is always about the costs. I do not think I have ever heard them talk about the benefits that some of these policies deliver. I think that is unfortunate, because we have to be realistic. There are costs involved here. But there are also benefits to this community. There will be positives. There will be new jobs. New jobs will be created in new industries. There will be reduced energy bills from making homes more energy efficient. These are positives that will be delivered to Canberra families.

Canberra families will benefit from improvements to public transport. It always amazes me the way that Mr Seselja talks about the imposition of public transport on people. He talks about the people in Conder. If we get better public transport in this town, people who live in places like Conder, Macgregor, Weston Creek, right across Canberra, including parts of Gungahlin, potentially will have better access to public transport and will be able to choose to not necessarily have to drive. They will have the choice of catching a decent bus service if we improve the public transport in this town. But it does not suit the narrative to actually identify some of those positives, some of those benefits.


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