Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (29 April) . . Page.. 140 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
I was shocked by this silence. I thought I would ask the department whether Mr Hargreaves's allegations were true or not. The very thought conjured up by John Hargreaves, of parking inspectors out there preying on the community while they were innocently celebrating, the thought of uniformed thugs stalking the helpless and attacking the weak, had me worried. Was I responsible for this? Had I unleashed this? Actually, I had not. Mr Hargreaves has dipped his hand into that old lucky dip bag of common prejudice against parking inspectors and he has pulled out a dud. Without any basis in fact, he has taken a cheap shot at parking inspectors - who, let us face it, have a tough enough job as it is, without Mr Hargreaves and the Labor Party whipping up a frenzy of public emotion against them.
Here are the facts, Mr Hargreaves. How many inspectors were on duty in that area on that day? None. How many tickets did these non-existent parking inspectors issue? None. I thought, "Hang on. Maybe it was not the parking inspectors. Maybe it is all Gary's fault. Maybe the Minister for Justice has unleashed hordes of uniformed police to issue parking tickets". We rang the police, and guess how many the police issued that day. None. Mr Hargreaves states that this Government uses parking inspectors to target public events. The truth is that that is not so. We have in place procedures that allow us to work with the community - we actually talk to the community; we do not pretend about it - to avoid having to hand out parking tickets at community events.
Mr Hargreaves: Were they the hundred little envelopes on the cars?
MR SMYTH: I will table it if you like. Mr Speaker, I table advice from my department which soundly refutes these allegations by Mr Hargreaves and I seek leave for it to be incorporated in Hansard.
Document incorporated at Appendix 2.
MR SMYTH: Mr Hargreaves did not stop at mentioning the opening of the skateboard park. He went on to relate the disastrous events that occurred last year when apparently the Tuggeranong Community Festival was also targeted. Thousands of people, according to Mr Hargreaves, had their days ruined by hordes of parking inspectors.
Mr Hargreaves: Another 10 per cent error.
MR SMYTH: I will quote you. This is what you said to Cathy Van Extel on 2CN at 6.30 am on Wednesday, 22 April 1998:
I can recall in the Tuggeranong Community Festival last year we had a couple of thousand people come down to the town park and enjoy the once a year celebration of Tuggeranong's community spirit - only to return and find on a piece of ground that has had nothing on it for many many months a parking ticket on their car and of course it's completely ruined their day.