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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (26 March) . . Page.. 671 ..

Dr Bob Brown : Prime Minister's Official Residence

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (5.13), in reply: Mr Speaker, I am sorry that I cannot be wetting my pants with excitement at the thought of Dr Brown joining us.

Mr Moore: Have you got a new baby, Gary? Are you conscious of nappy matters?

MR HUMPHRIES: I am. Perhaps that is a metaphor which came to mind fairly readily because of other matters. Mr Speaker, I also want to refer to the Federal election and indicate that I am quite enthused by the resolution with which the Australian people spoke, at the beginning of this month, on the question of a change of government. Ms Follett has raised the problem of Mr Howard not residing in Canberra. Mr Speaker, I think that is a matter of fairly minor importance in the scheme of things. The fact of the matter is that the Prime Minister has lived in Sydney all of his life and has a family in Sydney, with young children going to school in Sydney and children at university in Sydney. I have to say that, if I were in his position, I would make probably exactly the same decision. I think it is quite acceptable for that to be the case.

To use that as some kind of argument to say that the Howard Government does not believe in Canberra, Mr Speaker, I think is just sheer and utter claptrap. It comes from people who are desperate to find some way of starting to attack the decision made only a few weeks ago - a verdict on the former Government which people in this country issued resoundingly. I think it was a verdict that everybody in this chamber should take very careful note of.

Mr Speaker, I think this opens up new opportunities for not just this country but this city in particular. The emphasis on creating opportunities for growth in the private sector is extremely important if this city is to realise a bright future. All of us in this place know full well that there is not, under any government, any likelihood of large growth in the public sector. We all know that the jobs we have all spoken about endlessly in the last few years will come only from the private sector - can come only from the private sector - and the policies that the Federal Government has now announced and promised in the election just past are the sorts of policies that will deliver those sorts of jobs, and not just to other parts of Australia but to Canberra as well. Mr Speaker, I intend to work, as part of the Carnell Government, to harness the opportunities that will flow from that change of landscape. I intend to work with the Federal Government to achieve those goals because they are worthwhile goals that will benefit all Canberrans.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Assembly adjourned at 5.16 pm

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