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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2076 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

surrounding regions to be involved in the development of that monument. A good government would have recognised that opportunity and taken it on board. I may very much like Mr Tonkin's taste in monuments-I have never seen one that he has designed and I did not realise that that was a prerequisite for the job-but perhaps it would be better placed for the government to look at the opportunity of engaging our local community, those people involved in that process of art and design, in developing at least concepts for that monument.

Mr Speaker, there are a range of comments there that highlight the missed opportunity that this government, effectively, has created through this budget document. If it is not focusing on where it could have engaged the community better, it has been a process of misplacing how it believes the community's concerns can be met and it has been a process of missing clear opportunities to advance the city into the future.

In conclusion, the government is looking tired. The government is looking like it is trying to put bandaids over all the different parts that are starting to fall apart in an effort to demonstrate that it is still capable of running the territory. Really, Mr Speaker, all this budget demonstrates is that the government is slowly atrophying, that it is slowly grinding to a halt through a lack of vision and a lack of leadership which the city does need as we progress into the next century. Mr Speaker, there have been lost opportunities and a loss of leadership on the part of this government.

MS TUCKER (5.41): I want to make a few comments about the general value base from which this government appears to work and concerns that the Greens have about that position. The approach to social policy is not something that is unique to this Liberal government; it is something I see as an issue right across Australia under Labor and Liberal governments, including the federal government. In the view of the Greens, the central point in the development of social policy should be equity. That has got lost, not just in Australia but across the world. I went to an international conference on social welfare and that point was made over and over again by delegates from every country that was represented at the conference.

The notion of equity in social policy development has to be stressed as one of the most important issues for the ACT and for this country at this point in time. If we do not take a good, hard look at where social policy development has moved to, we will continue to see inequity growing. Having growing inequity in a society is a bad thing for everybody, not just for the people who are disadvantaged or vulnerable, but also for more fortunate ones, the so-called haves. The haves will suffer in the long run; perhaps not as much as the have-nots, but they will certainly suffer. There will be a growing fragmentation of the community which will lead to social exclusion of people who are disadvantaged. When you have a growth in social exclusion in a community, you have a community that is not cohesive by nature. You have an increase in anti-social behaviour, you have an increase in crime and you have an increase in self-destructive behaviour from the people who are excluded. Certainly, you do not have a society where the citizens are all actively engaged in moving in a positive direction.

If ever we needed to have that, we need it now. We need it now because, as a result of unwise policy decisions for many years, particularly related to the environment, we are at a point where there has to be quite significant social change, particularly in relation to how we live on earth. Nobody is arguing with that any more. We have scientific panels

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