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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 March 2018) . . Page.. 688 ..


We should not agree to the original motion because it goes against everything Canberrans want. As the Chief Minister has made clear, this government wants to talk to all Canberrans, and we will do that through social media, new methods of communication, direct communication, and, I stress, through traditional media. This is good government. It is about being genuine about informing Canberrans and it is about consulting them.

We are genuine about wanting to engage better, to try new ways of reaching people, and particularly those who do not usually have a voice in public debate. It is no secret that there are many people that cannot always take part in engagement activities. We want to reach those people. If the opposition see something wrong with this then they are simply not fit to govern. They can stick to their echo chamber of hard-right conservatism.

We should not agree to Mr Coe’s motion because residents of our city deserve better from the opposition. This Leader of the Opposition stands in stark contrast to the Chief Minister. There is no bigger champion of Canberra and our region than our Chief Minister. Under his leadership Canberra has been recognised by Lonely Planet as one of the top three cities in the world to visit. We have seen record tourism numbers, growth in international flights and our economy is booming.

We are looking after our people by investing in schools, hospitals and emergency services. We are the world’s most livable city, with a natural environment that is second to none. The Chief Minister is a leader who has a vision for our city and a plan to get there.

Canberrans do not want cheap stunts like this from those opposite. They want what the government is delivering under a united team led by this Chief Minister. They want a team and a government that is governing for all, and that is what we are doing.

MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (11.30): As each speaker contributed to this debate, each speaker on the other side tried to dodge the core issue, which is the spite that Mr Barr demonstrated. Unfortunately, it is not just spite as a one-off; it is spite on an ongoing basis. The bitterness and vindictiveness are pretty much out of control.

As Mr Parton said, these comments that were made a couple of weeks ago were not just off the cuff. It was a “meet the buyer” event. If it was off the cuff, that shows the absolute sham that that “meet the buyer” event was, because they did not actually plan for this procurement exercise. But the fact that they would say that they look forward to the demise of the Canberra Times, the fact that they would actually articulate that they look forward to the shutting down of a major publication in Canberra, a paper that has served the ACT for 100 years or so, as being a great day for Canberra, I think speaks to Mr Barr’s true motivation.

Mr Ramsay talked about all the things that the government does; obviously, none of those actions is actually sincere, because the personal and private views of the Chief Minister are contrary to that of the government. If we are actually going to get some


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