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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 9 December 2010) . . Page.. 6130 ..


Mrs Dunne: The highest.

MR HANSON: Thank you, Mrs Dunne. If you, for example, have two children at childcare, you will be paying an increased amount of $1,560 a year, just based on the last raft of government changes to legislation. The average Canberran will be pretty upset about the fact that so many of their hard-earned dollars are going to pay for the increased fees and charges, mortgages and rates and rent that they have to pay. They will look at this government’s priorities as they drive past some of the public artwork—the $2 to $3 million that has been spent on an annual basis on bizarre artworks throughout the city.

They will look at some of the priorities—for instance, the banning of plastic bags. They will think, “Well, is that really the necessary environmental action that we need to take?” They know that the impact will be so minimal, if at all, when we look at the evidence of the increased cost and inconvenience that it is going to cause to so many Canberrans.

They will look at this government’s obsession with civil liberties and human rights. We all are concerned about civil liberties and human rights. But when we see initiatives like the one put forward by a headmaster trying to prevent schoolkids from truanting his school by going and asking that shops do not serve his kids during the day when they are in school uniform and being told that is against the human rights of those children we find it absolutely bizarre. I think that there would be very few people in Canberra, other than those sitting on the other side of this chamber—and on the crossbench probably—who would think that was appropriate.

People will drive past the arboretum and see the $50-odd million that has been spent on the arboretum. They may think that is a nice thing, and it probably will be nice. But will they think that is the best way of spending $50 million of their hard-earned taxpayers’ money? Because let us realise this is not Mr Stanhope’s money; it is their money. They probably will not.

Likewise, people will question the amount of money that the feed-in tariff is going to cost us. Is that the best way to reduce carbon emissions, at over $400 a tonne? I think that the average Canberran would question why it is that we are managing legislation in such a fashion that it is causing such extreme pressures on people’s electricity budgets.

We have seen legislation on shopping trolleys. We have seen Simon Corbell’s $17 million wetlands. We have seen the Stanhope government—I was going to say “being dragged to the left by the Greens”, but I think that they have probably gone there quite willingly—scramble to the left as they say, “I’m a bigger leftie than you are.” Perhaps, Andrew Barr, they are all going there as quickly as they can on environmental and social issues as they fight for the vote on the left.

Let us think about other aspects that touch people’s daily lives and let us talk about ACTION buses. Do you hear many good reports about ACTION buses? Do you hear of many people being happy about that? Certainly if you read the Auditor-General’s review you will find that very few people are. And what about the court system? The


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