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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 2855 ..

MR STANHOPE: What, the public servants? We know of your view of public servants. Also, the establishment of the Office of Sustainability, the spatial plan work that has been done and, of course, all the work that has been done in the multicultural and community affairs field, the new office for the ageing, the Office for Women, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander unit. Enormous work is being done in all of those groups. We have established for the first time a council for the ageing. We have a revitalised and very active Ministerial Advisory Council on Women and we are about to appoint a ministerial advisory council on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island affairs.

I was concerned also with some of the comments about there being a lack of focus on programs that affect women. There are two or three responses I would make to that. In the first instance, we have a select committee of this Assembly looking at issues-in effect, doing an audit of issues-that might directly impact on the lives of women in the ACT. It is only appropriate that we await the outcomes of that inquiry before we respond or make decisions in relation to it. It is simply absurd to suggest that we should pre-empt the outcomes of a report that is yet to be written.

Similarly, an enormous amount of work is being coordinated through the Office for Women in relation to issues concerning violence against women. To suggest that this is not an issue that is being taken seriously by the government is really insulting-insulting to those officers within the department and across departments in terms of the work that has been done to coordinate responses to three separate reports in relation to violence against women.

I take the opportunity again to congratulate all officers of, in this instance, the Chief Minister's Department on the absolutely outstanding work, the level of productivity, the devotion to duty in a simple and very sincere acknowledgment of the groundbreaking work that has been done in relation to the development of a social plan, the development of an economic white paper, and the creation of an Office of Sustainability and the development of a framework around that and on all of the new and far-sighted work that is being done in relation to multicultural and community affairs in the ACT. It is a credit to them and I am so pleased that the far-sighted plan that this government, the Labor government, has for Canberra is being so effectively implemented.

MR SMYTH (4.36): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to address the appropriations for the Chief Minister's portfolio. In October 2000, the then Leader of the Opposition, Mr Stanhope, made the comment that the opposition was ready for government, that it was ready to take the reins and run with it if the then Chief Minister should fall. It is curious that he made that statement because we have yet to see anything that proves that they were ready for government then or now.

As the election results were being tallied and we waited for the changeover in government, he promised that there would not be a hiatus of two to three months after the incoming government hit the treasury bench. He was certainly right on that. There has not been a hiatus of two to three months; there has been a hiatus of eight to nine months, and the hiatus is set to continue.

I want to concentrate on one thing that the Chief Minister said. He said that it is all about the significance of the long term, that we have to have a long-term view, but there has been no mention of the now. What has happened for the ACT and the citizens of the

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