Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 5 Hansard (8 May) . . Page.. 1357 ..

MR QUINLAN: If you want to divert to the deformed man, it was not a deformed man; it was a man with deformed ideas. It is your mob that twisted that to try to make an issue out of it. I think that was pretty tacky. But tacky is as tacky does, and under John Howard some pretty tacky politics have been played in this country over the last few years. There is no reason to believe it will change. That swipe at Mr Latham is pretty damn tacky.

I commend Ms MacDonald for her obvious concern for Ansett employees. Quite clearly, she delivered her speech on this motion with some emotion, to her credit. She demonstrated that she genuinely cares for people.

I was fascinated by Mr Smyth's response that Ms MacDonald should get her facts straight. He said, "You cannot come into this place and say things that are simply not true." Hello! $344 million. How many times? This is rank hypocrisy, Mr Smyth.


MR QUINLAN: Yesterday I got away with saying that anybody who said Labor delivered a $344 million deficit was an outright liar, because that is the truth. There did not seem to be any objection. The position could not be defended. When Mr Smyth talks about Ms MacDonald getting her facts straight, when the arch-verballer in this place is Gary Humphries and when Mr Smyth is a poor imitator of that verballing process, it smacks of hypocrisy.

Assistance for Kendell and Hazelton was certainly a bipartisan move. I agree with Mr Smyth. It was a sensible move taken at the time. We have one survivor from that, and I hope that they grow and prosper. It is quite clear from the figures I have seen that airline ticket prices, under effectively a single airline, have gone through the roof.

Mr Wood: And service has gone through the floor.

MR QUINLAN: Service has gone through the floor, price has gone through the roof, and the number of flexible tickets, standby tickets, has shrunk to be virtually non-existent. That is the impact of the loss of Ansett on Canberra. Prices have had an impact upon group travel.

Sections of the tourism industry that use airlines the most are group travel and the convention market. We have a little catching up to do in convention facilities. The convention facility we have is not up to national standards. Other cities have built new ones and are attracting convention business. If they are on air routes on which there is a degree of competition, say from Virgin Blue, they stand a good chance of attracting a lot more business, at Canberra's loss.

I was pleased to observe that as a lead-up to the federal election our local senator, Senator Margaret Reid, made a commitment that the federal government would put funds into the Convention Centre here. We hope to be in a position in the not too distant future to call that commitment in on behalf of Canberra. It was made, and repeated, and I expect the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .