Page 3516 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 21 September 2005

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could have been some of the rest of us. Extending anti-terror laws seems like an invasion of human rights to me.

Canberra and region—growth

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (6.13): I got cut off there in mid-flight by Mr Quinlan. I do not know if he did not like what I was saying about him and me being at different stages of life and all that sort of thing. For whatever reason, he wanted to shut down debate, which is disappointing.

I want to finish some points and restate some of the points that I made. We are yet to see from this government—

MR SPEAKER: You should not reflect on a vote. It was the vote of the Assembly that terminated the debate.

MR SESELJA: It was not about the vote. I was not reflecting on the vote. I was reflecting on the fact that in mid-flight he shut it down. I do not think that is reflecting on a vote.

MR SPEAKER: If you want to finish your speech, go for your life; but you should not reflect on decisions of the Assembly.

Mr Quinlan: He probably worked on it for hours.

MR SESELJA: Yes, hours went into this, I tell you. I have been slaving away. Nonetheless, I will not reflect on any of what went before. I will talk about certain issues. The point needs to be made that we are seeing some contradictory signs coming from this government about what they want for growth. On the one hand, we have got Mr Quinlan saying he does not care where the growth happens; whether it happens outside Canberra or inside Canberra; he does not believe the figures. I find that hard to believe, but he says he does not believe the figures; there is something fishy about them. On the other hand, we see Mr Stanhope launching books about what a wonderful world it would be if Canberra were not to grow.

We are seeing some contradictions from the government and I call upon them to give us a clear statement. They put out a lot of population projections, but they have not said whether they support there being growth in the territory or whether they are happy for it to stay as it is at 0.2 per cent or less or for it to go backwards. I look forward to hearing from the government on what they believe about growth.

I want to talk a bit about the negative perceptions of Canberra, which was raised in earlier debate. It is a real issue. I was interested that Mr Stanhope dismissed people who say Canberra is boring. People say Canberra is boring; there is no doubt about it. I do not share that view, but it is a perception that is out there. We spoke to some St Clares girls who visited the Assembly this week, and that was the message they gave us. That is the reality of the situation. It is not about shooting the messenger; it is about addressing the situation. Why is there that perception? And what can we do to address it?

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