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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2467 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

Another secret that the Government kept well up their sleeves and that has only now come to light is their intention to charge tip fees to householders. This was a very well-kept secret, Mr Speaker. I do not remember Mrs Carnell, or Mr Humphries, or Mr De Domenico, or any of the rest of them, going out and saying they would charge tip fees. This is another example of this Government's approach to their so-called open and consultative government. It is a con. It is a trick.

Mr Hird: So you were not going to do it?

MS FOLLETT: Absolutely to the contrary. Mrs Carnell went to the electorate - - -

Mr Hird: You were not going to do it.

MS FOLLETT: I am not going to shout over Mr Hird, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hird: But you were not going to do it.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hird!

MS FOLLETT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I do not recall any of the members opposite going out to the electorate and saying to them, "By the way, we are going to charge you fees for going to the tip". What Mrs Carnell did say was that it would not cost you a penny more to have this Liberal Government in office. "Not a penny more" were her words. That was an absolutely false statement, an absolutely false promise, to the Canberra community. Yet another promise, Mr Speaker, has been broken without so much as a batting of the eyelids.

The tip fees have been dressed up as an environmental charge so they can blame it on the Greens. That is what this is. That just doubles the con. You go out to the people in the suburbs, you go out to the people, particularly in North Canberra, and tell them this is not a tip fee, this is an environmental charge. You will be lucky if they laugh at you. They will be more likely to spit at you. The fact that the Minister has not even attempted to defend those aspects of his budget says it all. He would rather still keep the secret. He is hoping no-one will notice. This is their idea of open and consultative government - to not tell anybody about those fundamental changes in the management of his portfolio.

Madam Deputy Speaker, Mr De Domenico also said, with a measure of pride, I thought, that 80 per cent of Urban Services tasks were being contracted out. What sort of a record is that? I would have thought that there was adequate evidence throughout this country, and throughout other countries as well, that the contracting out of services has two results. It costs more and you get less service. But, Madam Deputy Speaker, you cannot persuade these Liberals with the weight of logical evidence. You cannot persuade these Liberals that perhaps we should learn from the experience of other places, because they are ideologically bound to a position that says, "Cut the public sector and give the work to the private sector". It is a purely ideological position that is simply not borne out anywhere else in the world or in this country. It is a ridiculous position.

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