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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 November 2010) . . Page.. 5510 ..


that is not conducive to private members’ day where the entire Assembly can actually work together to deliver good outcomes for the people of the ACT.

Mr Seselja: Which parts do you disagree with?

MS GALLAGHER: You have written this for the sole purpose of going out and saying, “Nobody else agrees with us. We’re trying to fight the good fight.”

Mr Smyth: Well, you don’t. You don’t care.

MS GALLAGHER: What a load of rubbish. This is written with the sole purpose of not working with other members of the Assembly in the best interests of the people of the ACT.

The third and probably least offensive part of the motion reads:

consider carefully the cost of living in the ACT and include initiatives in the … Budget that put downward pressure on the cost of living;

These are all decisions that the government looks at very closely when putting the budget together. Indeed, it is at the forefront and one of the most significant considerations of the government when we are weighing up the demand for services, the growth that we are seeing in our city and how we keep increases in the cost of providing services reasonable and in line with what the community can afford. So this work is already done as part of the government’s very rigorous budget assessment processes and I think you can see that from the decisions that the government has taken over a number of years.

The issue that Mr Seselja and the Liberals just simply ignore in their motion today is the fact that there are other drivers that drive up charges and prices right across the community. There are other elements and they need to be considered: household income, population growth. The city is not the same, the city size. The city demands are not the same as they were back in 2001-02. They are simply not the same. There are major policy decisions that have been taken that simply were not there, that need to be factored in. The demand for services: there is unprecedented demand right across the board. We have delivered a 110 per cent increase in health, a 130 per cent increase in disability services and a 55 per cent increase in education services. Education and health are the biggest components of the budget and we have done all that while trying to keep a limit on price increases.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.15): This motion put by Mr Seselja this morning is one of those motions that are very frustrating, in the sense that there are important matters being touched on here, but the base politics of the motion seriously detracts from that important substance. It is clear that there are cost of living pressures on some families in our community, and the Greens have a proud record of working to support those people.

Those who are most financially or socially disadvantaged in our community are those who are often forgotten as policies are developed. They are the families that cannot


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