Page 1906 - Week 06 - Thursday, 5 May 2005

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the growing population in that area. The government could have appropriated some kind of funding for this project so that some form of private enterprise could be exercised. But, no, there is nothing in the budget for something so essential. They would prefer to spend $6 million on a real time bus information system, which will probably be vandalised because there are not enough police. The health and safety of our Tuggeranong residents are obviously not at the forefront of the Stanhope government’s mind.

Mr Mulcahy: Or any residents.

MR PRATT: That is right. What is the government doing in next year’s budget to address the problems of some of Tuggeranong’s suburban shopping centres, such as Richardson and Calwell, which are riddled with graffiti, vandalised and are starting to look run down and shabby? There is no funding for any shopping centre upgrade in the 2005-06 budget, except for Holt shops. There is so much rhetoric from this government about the look of the city and their grand vision, with sustainable transport plans, human rights bills and the like. But this government, if it can get away with it, does not give priority to additional funding for the ordinary day-to-day things that most people actually want.

In the urban services department the 2005-06 budget shows general savings of $2.3 million in 2005-06 and, in the outyears, of $10 million per year, a total of $32.3 million over the next few years. This is, in Mr Hargreaves’s words, to be achieved by eliminating silos of waste within the department—a pretty harsh statement to make about people whose jobs may be on the line as a result of these cuts. I am deeply concerned that, as a result of these so-called efficiency savings, there will be a future drop in the level of services to the community for municipal and other crucial services. Also, there appears to be nothing extra in the budget to address the increasing problem with graffiti and other vandalism that is rife across the territory.

Why should we be surprised when, with Jon Stanhope’s blessing, Mr Bruford has gone out and adorned the town in Bruford blue—a crime condoned and reluctantly criticised?

MR SPEAKER: Order! This matter is before the courts.

Mr Mulcahy: It has been settled, Mr Speaker.

MR PRATT: It has been settled, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mulcahy: He has been convicted.

MR SPEAKER: I had not heard the result of that.

MR PRATT: The matter was settled before 2 pm, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: It is news to me.

MR PRATT: It is no wonder there is little interest in funding a meaningful attack on graffiti by this government. Members, we have been Bruforded!

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