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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5073 ..

MR CORNWELL (continuing):

covered in graffiti. In fact, most of the fences between Woden Plaza and Weston Creek along Hindmarsh Drive are plastered with it.

I have phone calls constantly on that from all over Canberra. What does the government do to correct this situation? It does not support the banning of the sale of spray cans to underage people-not that that was going to eradicate the problem, but it would have mitigated it. The government has now sent a clear signal to graffitists all over Canberra that it is open season, open slather, and they can go their hardest because the government is not going to provide the services that it should to the people of Canberra in attempting to overcome this vandalism problem.

The vandal vote, as I have said on a number of occasions, is being heavily supported by the government, the Greens and the Democrats. How can you possibly claim that you are providing services to the people of the ACT when you allow that sort of thing to continue and, furthermore, encourage it by virtue of the message that you have sent through-

Mr Hargreaves: I take a point of order. Mr Cornwell is referring to the subject matter of a previous debate on a bill that he raised. He is perhaps reflecting on a debate in a previous Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: I think you might be, Mr Cornwell.

MR CORNWELL: I doubt it, sir, but I stand corrected. I was moving on, anyway. There has been talk about regeneration following the bushfires. I do not know whether some of it should be called regeneration or butchery. I am thinking very much of the Oakey Hill blue gums and lots of other areas of Canberra where an obviously embarrassed government, a government that has been caught short on the mistakes of the past, is now overcompensating by turning the bush capital into some sort of butchered capital.

Again, I do not see that as the provision of services by the government to the people of the ACT, far less the importance of these services. It does not seem to be appreciated by the government that the day-to-day activities-roads, rates and rubbish, if you like-are, by and large, the very things that ordinary people out there regard as most important to their daily lives. They are not terribly interested in bills of rights. They are not terribly interested in same sex adoptions and such like. They are not interested in those social issues. They are interested in the day-to-day activities and the inconvenience that they will suffer if these things are not provided.

I have to say that Urban Services is not the easiest portfolio, simply because it carries such a vast array of activities. Nevertheless, its importance cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening under this government. The government is very big on the big picture items and it is very big on putting out glossy brochures about what may be happening but, as I have demonstrated with a number of yet to be placed questions on notice and a reply that I have received in relation to water, plus the continuing problems with graffiti in this city, it is very clear that the government is being most selective in what it chooses to address and chooses to sort out.

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