Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 22 June 2005) . . Page.. 2162 ..
facility and had seen its condition, they would accept that the Phillip Oval needs quite significant remediation.
Phillip Oval is a community asset. Under the previous arrangements for its operations, it was left in disrepair. This government has since changed those arrangements. The alternative would mean that the place was unusable. As an unusable facility it would then degenerate much further. There was universal agreement—at least from anybody who takes an interest in it—that it ought to be repaired and restored. That work includes the oval surface itself, the lighting, the landscaping around the place, the change rooms, the scoreboard and the general amenity of the facility.
The level of support for the restoration of Phillip Oval included support from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, who thought that it needed an upgrade. That was a fairly astute observation on his part. It comes as a surprise that Mr Mulcahy and Mr Seselja believe that it should be a very low priority. If that community asset is not taken care of—if it is unused and left to lie idle—it will degenerate at a very rapid rate. To a large degree it has already been vandalised.
In answer to a previous question, I pointed out the division of opinion on the other side of the house. Here is another example. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition advocates that the oval be restored and a couple of other members of the opposition are saying, “Put it on the bottom of your list. You’ve spent too much money anyway.” From that, one would infer that they are saying, “Don’t do it”.
Across the road there is confusion about direction. It will be very interesting to see how the Liberal Party votes in future debates. Will those opposite say to the various communities that want to use Phillip Oval, “No, it’s not part of our policy. No, it shouldn’t happen.”? Or will they say, “What we heard from Mr Mulcahy and Mr Seselja is rubbish. That in fact is part of Liberal policy and we stand by Mr Stefaniak.”?
As I said before—I think we will say it again—we see a diversity of policy coming out of one source. Recently I saw written in a paper the old saying: a fish rots from the head. If you see divisions such as this and the previous division that I pointed out today, you can find one source—
Mr Stefaniak: He’s sitting behind you.
MR QUINLAN: If only I had time. It is quite obvious that there is a problem. It has been said that democracy needs an effective opposition—we ain’t got one at the moment.
Emergency Services Authority
MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the minister for emergency services. Minister, why did you seek payments from the Treasurer’s Advance in May and June this year for the Emergency Services Authority for unforeseen operational expenditure totalling a whopping $3.4 million? What exactly were these millions of dollars in unforeseen expenditure for? Why was this spending not provided for in the original 2004-05 budget or subsequent appropriations?