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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 August 2018) . . Page.. 3480 ..

Look at the absolute turmoil that his federal colleagues are in at the moment over what the Liberal Party stands for. It is no longer a liberal party, Madam Speaker; it no longer holds small “l” liberal values. It is a complete conservative takeover. That conservative takeover has happened already in the ACT; that is very clear for everyone to see, from Zed Seselja’s knifing of Gary Humphries through to Mr Coe being in the position he is.

The Canberra Liberals are the A to Z of conservatism in this city. From Alistair to Zed, there is not much room right of them in mainstream Australian politics now. This amendment and his constant contributions on economic and social policy demonstrate that very clearly. We look forward to highlighting, through the budget debate and at every opportunity we get, just how conservative this opposition leader is and just how conservative he is making the party he leads that can now no longer call itself a liberal party. The amendment should be rejected, Madam Speaker. (Time expired.)

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (5.44): People laughed at me when I brought this motion on, Madam Speaker. They said no-one would want to speak to it. When Ms Le Couteur stood up to speak to it, I did get a bit worried. I was worried that no-one would want to speak to my exciting motion about the budget in budget week. But here we are. We have seen Mr Barr of Kurrajong speak to his local constituency; we have seen Ms Berry speak to her local constituency; we have seen Mr Ramsay speak to his constituency. Then we have seen Mr Coe speak to the complete opposite of my motion.

For those who saw the motion I moved, I would recommend it. It was a good motion. Unfortunately, the amendment does not agree with that sentiment and seeks to replace all of it, which is not something I would support. But it is an important debate to have in this place. We have spent a lot of time debating the budget, but we have not seen an opportunity for many members in this place to come forward and talk about their individual constituencies.

I am proud of this budget because we are delivering a balanced budget, with a modest surplus and a positive position across four years. We are doing this while delivering a massive piece of infrastructure in light rail in Gungahlin. We continue to have the lowest unemployment of any state or territory, just 3.6 per cent. This is down to our policies, which have created tens of thousands of new jobs in a diverse range of fields. It is not just jobs in traditional fields; we are diversifying and expanding our tourism sector, our education sector, our IT sector, the defence industry, the space industry and many more. We are delivering a positive forward position whilst increasing our investment in our schools and hospitals. We are catering for growth so that everyone can share in the prosperity of this city.

Madam Speaker, this budget speaks to our priorities. The people of Gungahlin, and indeed the entire territory, are beneficiaries of the priorities in this budget: more education and training opportunities, more diverse jobs, better health services, greater connectivity and more services for our growing city. This is what Labor stands for; this is what Labor has been delivering and will continue to deliver. I urge everyone to support this motion.

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