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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5105 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Mrs Burke talked at length about using up valuable Assembly time talking about services to the people. Maybe we are here to use up valuable time talking about services to the people. She obviously doesn't think that telling people about the priority a government has for suburban services is a valuable use of Assembly time. She also claimed the Liberals were excellent financial managers. What about the overnight loan which despatched the Liberal Chief Minister, or the overnight loan that raised Mr Smyth to the leadership-Mr 40 per cent over here?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves will direct his comments through the Chair. Members of the opposition will remain silent.

MR HARGREAVES: How about the misjudgments over the private injection of funds into Bruce Stadium? That was a good one. How about the loss in the V8 car race? How about that intellectually giant decision about painting grass green, and what about the Fujitsu debacle? That's going to live on in the memories of time. I don't think Ms Tucker read the motion that well. She talked about global Canberra community issues and quoted from an author on community development. But the motion was about basic community services, not about global issues. I take the points she makes quite well but I was talking more about basic issues than the global.

Ms Dundas began by missing the suburban bit altogether, but she got to it eventually. Her comments about crime prevention programs are well taken but I would argue that Operation Anchorage and Operate Halite were just that. She wants the proceeds of pay parking to go towards transport issues and getting people out of their cars and onto buses. This shows a lack of understanding of government financial arrangements. Governments do not as a general rule hypothecate revenue into programs. Consolidated revenue is boosted by revenue and the programs are funded from that same source. She ought to know, being here for two years, that governments do not raise charges and then hypothecate them. She talked about engaging the community in planning issues. The truth is that a minority engage in them and the vast majority of the community just don't. Draft variation 200 is a perfect example. Only a miniscule percentage of Canberra's community took the time, given two opportunities to do so, to give the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment their views.

Mrs Cross didn't engage in the debate. Nothing more needs be said. However, comments have occasionally been made to me about services to the long-term disabled who have been unemployed for ages and need rehabilitation. As Mr Speaker was steward of this service for many moons, he will know we have a vocational rehabilitation section within the rehabilitation section of the hospital. That section gives people activities of daily living skills and vocational skills and assists them in getting employment. It has the brilliant disabled driver program, which enables people to get out and about and seek the jobs that they want. I remember that Mr Speaker was steward of the Department of Health at the time that service commenced. People in the community need to know that that sort of thing is at the front of the government's mind.

I ask that members note the government's need to have a high priority view of basic services and not get lost in grand vision. There must be room for both. This government has displayed both, and I'm pleased to be able to advise the community of the priority

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