Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5025 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
Development Council, has identified the following transport projects as potentially contributing to the development of Canberra and the region: an upgrade of the Barton Highway, which was achieved during the term of the last government; the very high speed train project, which the previous government did not achieve but we tried damned hard; an upgrade of the Canberra airport to international standards, which has happened; completion and duplication of the Federal Highway, which has also happened; and improvements to the Monaro Highway, which have also happened. A strategic plan, not a white paper; a few actions-actual achievement.
If you go back to the former government's strategic plan, you will see that at the end of every chapter there is a statement of the economic vitality objectives in each case. It then goes on to principles and how to achieve them and has a four-page spread of actions for economic vitality. It details the priority actions and the lead agency. That is a plan which will make achievements.
Let us look at the government's priority industry sectors because they are fabulous. We have racked our brains, we have worked for 21/2 years, we have talked and listened to the community. We have said that we will do space sciences, and that is already happening; biotechnology is already happening; public administration is already happening; environmental industries are already happening; creative industries have been borrowed from the Liberal Party; sport is already happening; defence is already happening; and tourism is already happening. But it is curious that in two of those industries the government forgot to put in the actions. Under "Space sciences"and "Sport science"there are no actions. The government is going to do it but it is just not going to do it now. If you go to the synopsis document, you will see that somebody forgot to put in the action, which I think is a sad indictment of this government, although it is a true reflection.
At the end of "Space sciences"and its astronomical potential the paper says that the space sciences industry will be targeted as a priority industry sector. That is just in the general text; it is not outlined as an action. All the other actions have a statement, something to feel good about. It also says that the biotech industry will be targeted as a priority industry sector. That is the government's concept of action: a few bland words on a piece of paper and then, out of the eight targeted areas, no strategic actions are listed. Where is the commitment?
The white paper is a sham. It is a mirage. It is just fairy floss. No doubt the minister will get up and read the first line of a number of press releases. The opening line will be something like: 'The council for X welcomes the delivery of the white paper."When the Treasurer gets up we need to look at what they really said because I do not believe any group in the ACT is happy with the white paper. If you analyse the paper as we did, you will find that the 47 actions dissolve down to 18 statements of the bleeding obvious; 16 previous announcements; three further reviews; another review, which is the responsibility of the other party; and only nine attempts at action. This is a sham.
MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (3.50): I will not read from the press releases, I will read from the Canberra Times headline "High tech vision for the ACT". I like the word "vision". It is vision for the first time.