Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 5026 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
I will start where Mr Smyth started: with federal minister Joe Hockey, with bumbling Joe's white paper. The white paper is supposedly specific. I need to get some new bureaucrats because we are still having a lot of bother working out exactly what is on offer.
Firstly, there is no mention of money in Mr Hockey's white paper. Mr Hockey put out a press release in which he announced additional funding of $235 million. If you read through the white paper, you will find that there is confusion as to what is new, what might be new and what is not. We still have to get clarification as to just how much additional money is involved. Nevertheless, Mr Smyth says that we should try to make some sort of spurious comparison for the sake of the debate.
When a white paper like this is put out, you wonder what the reception will be. A commitment has been made and there has been a fair amount of material involved. I am very encouraged by the response. I have met with business people since the white paper has been put out and it has been fairly well applauded. There have been one or two critics. One is a particularly consistent critic of government no matter what it does. His credibility died years ago when he put out a press release supporting a Carnell decision before the decision had been announced, which is going a bit ahead of the game. They were working in tandem.
On the day I brought down the paper there were those that were carping and saying, "Where's the white paper?""Mr Quinlan has built this white paper up". I did not build this white paper up. If you go back over 18 months you will not find me building it up but the opposition building it up, for which I thank you, Mr Smyth. There were those that were carping and saying, "We want it. We want to gainsay it and naysay it. We want to find what's wrong."What is wrong with this paper? "It doesn't have precision as to money or timetable."Has an idea been put forward?-"Hey, you've left out a major idea"-no.
On radio last week one of our critics was asked by the announcer, "What did you suggest that's not in the paper?"The answer was: "Nothing."You could say that of so many-if there were many, but there are not. In fact, business is generally very pleased with this paper. I have been to a couple of functions since the launch of the paper, which we started some time ago. Since we have been in government this paper has been growing on those who have been carping about it, saying that he things this government has done are no good because they preceded the paper or that they should not be mentioned in the paper because we have got on with them. They were and are part of our vision. I have to confess that I am very happy to allow Mr Smyth to carp on as he did. I was enjoying that.
Since this government came to power it has set about putting quite a number of things right. Let me give you a little insight into the vision of the Liberals. Let us look at Fujitsu, for example. This is your standard, your comparison.
Mr Smyth: I raise a point of order on relevance, Mr Deputy Speaker. This MPI is about goals and targets in the government's economic white paper. I looked for the word "Fujitsu"but I could not find it in the paper. Perhaps Mr Quinlan could give us the reference he is alluding to.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: This has been a fairly broad ranging-debate.