Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 November 2010) . . Page.. 5505 ..
As an aside, there is also the issue that one can say the government can reduce its wasteful spending, whether it be the at least $20 million that is wasted on the GDE by failing to duplicate the GDE when it was first constructed, or the hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on government advertising, or expensive art at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, or the waste of $5 million on the non-existent Belconnen to Civic busway. There are the blow-outs in things like the Emergency Services headquarters, the cost of Tharwa bridge and the capital operating cost of the Alexander Maconochie Centre, the $5 million wasted on FireLink, a communications facility that was never delivered, the failure to manage the budget of the Department of Territory and Municipal Services as outlined in numerous reports, particularly those from Ernst & Young, uncollected rates and ambulance fees. Consultants: we have got $4½ million to be spent on finding savings because the government is not capable of doing it.
We could look at the solar feed-in tariff. What is that—an extra $225 a year on families. There is the whole question of public art, mistakes of the parole board. In the delivery of capital works, the new car park for Canberra Hospital went from $27 million to $43 million. There is the youth detention centre, and mental health budget overruns. There are numerous things in the Treasurer’s advance that you would have to question. Then we have blow-outs in the cost of the Googong pipeline and the Cotter Dam. The list goes on and on. And if the government were serious about really helping ordinary people in what is a tough environment, they would look at their own spending first.
Mr Seselja’s proposal says that we simply want an annual statement in the ACT budget. It is not a big ask. It is important that people do understand what their government are doing. It is important that people understand that their government actually care about what they do to the residents of the ACT. And it is important that people understand how much their government costs them every day through increases in cost of living.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.04): I welcome the opportunity to talk to this matter in the Assembly today. After just listening to Mr Smyth, I have to presume that he is not reading the same motion as I am if he believes that it is just a simple request for the government to provide a cost of living statement with the budget.
Mr Smyth interjecting—
MS GALLAGHER: If the motion was just that, the government would consider supporting the motion. But the motion is not just that, Mr Smyth. As usual, it is a Liberal motion written with the venom and hatred of those who have spent too long in opposition and are destined to stay there forever. You write your motions on private members’ day with the sole purpose of ensuring that they always go down. Maybe there is a message here about bringing forward sensible motions that are constructive, that other members in this place could agree to.
These are the points I made today on the radio in response to Mr Seselja’s comments.