Page 2381 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 28 June 2005

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and its developed area is much smaller than that intended for the arboretum. The problem is that the work was not done before we lashed out. Nobody read the ACIL Tasman report. They took all the upside, all the good bits, and said, “Yes, yes, yes.” But read the assumptions, Mr Stanhope, and if you cannot understand them get the Treasurer to explain them to you. I know that he understands what the assumptions are—$20 million of capital input over the start-up years, and by year four more than $4 million worth of recurrent. That is your problem, Chief Minster, and that is why it has got no support.

We see this half-baked application across the entire Chief Minster’s portfolio, whether it be in environment or whether it be in heritage. And let us talk about heritage. When heritage came up in the estimates process, discussion was gagged by the chair of the estimates committee, Ms MacDonald, as she gagged so much other debate. We have got a heritage unit that is not under control and a heritage unit that is not really looking after the heritage of the ACT. They seem to be looking after the status quo.

We have a house in Reid where the proponents have gone through almost two years of living hell because the ACT Heritage Council changed its mind. They are not my words; they are Mr Corbell’s words. According to the report, the Heritage Council changed its mind. The planning minister washed his hands of the Heritage Council. We have a chief minister who will not take a critical look at his heritage unit and say, “We got it wrong,” and apologise to this family that they got it wrong.

This family has done a quality development. You cannot see most of the development from the street. Most of his neighbours signed off and said, “We think it is a great development.” But we have got a heritage unit that apparently, based on the documents that I have seen, briefed the Reid Residents Association. That is how it appears. There is a document that shows that the strategy that the Reid Residents Association followed as to what will happen is laid out in the handwriting of a public service officer. You have to question that, Mr Chief Minister, but you will not. Your officers in this case have let down this family in Reid. That is the sort of Chief Minister we have.

Have your grand ideas—that is fine—but let us think about what happened during the 13 years that Mr Stanhope was an advisor to a previous federal Labor administration. Let us look at just one example—the national museum, which languished for 13 years under a federal Labor government to which Mr Stanhope was an advisor. Where was the fearless voice calling for—

Mr Mulcahy: Along with Mr Costello.

MR SMYTH: Yes, along with Mr Costello from Actew. Where was the fearless Chief Minister then calling for the museum to be built? Where was the majestic vision then for a centre that looked at Australia’s cultural identity? Well it must have been somewhere else because it certainly was not with the Labor Party and it certainly was not with the Chief Minister. Yet, as quickly as physically possible upon coming to office, the Howard government moved to complete the work started in 1980 by the then Fraser Liberal government to build the National Museum. So do not come down here and talk to us about grand visions and all the things you are going to do. The reality is that your government is sadly lacking, as the former federal Labor government was sadly lacking as well.

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