Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5158 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
in the argument that there is already a concert and that the federal government is actually funding that and making that happen.
Perhaps it is not necessarily the best way of spending public money to have two concerts in a row. I do not have a particular position one way or the other on the matter. If that is the way the government saw it, they have a competitive process in place. There is a council which decides which festivals look as if they have the most merit. I understand these people were invited to go back and rethink because of the federal government's concert and so on. They did not want to. That is the process that is set up. I cannot see that there is a huge issue about it.
The main thing I wanted to respond to tonight is what I see as a really quite extraordinary and irrational response and reaction from some members here. I think that as Australians we need to be proud of the fact that we challenge things. I find their attitude really strange. I also find this talk of patriotism to be strange. Where does patriotism actually lead? That is the language of war to a large degree.
Opposition members interjecting-
MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms Tucker has the floor.
MS TUCKER: I will wait for them to settle down. That obviously worked. That was good. I just find it really amazing; nearly every day we are hearing about global climate change-even in the Canberra Times now.
We are hearing that the icecaps are going to melt, that Sydney will be flooded, that we have climate change causing extreme climatic events and disease around the world. We are hearing that, in fact, if this is not brought under control there is potential for the whole cycle of greenhouse gases and methane emissions to speed up exponentially and for us to end up in a situation where this earth is no longer even habitable.
When you think about those kinds of challenges, I must say I find this notion of patriotism really out of order. We are not going to have a country to be proud of if we do not have an earth that sustains it. I wish I could see as much passion from the people in the Liberal Party and Mrs Cross about the fact that we are destroying our earth.
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (8.35), in reply: I thank members for their interest in this subject this evening. I would like to start, Mr Speaker, by looking at Mr Wood's defence, which was simply the same old excuses and then the classic position: how dare the Assembly tell the government to do anything.
It is the right of the Assembly to tell the government to do things. It is the right of the Assembly. It is our job and it is our obligation to challenge what the government is doing with the taxpayer's money that has been appropriated to you through this place. If you think that it is wrong for us to have the temerity to question what you are doing, the arrogance of your government grows and grows and you really ought to question what it is you stand for rather than challenging what we believe.
The point, Mr Speaker, is that there is no explanation for this except they do not seem to like the group called Australia Day in the National Capital. I ask the question: if you did