Page 3517 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 21 September 2005

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Some of the things that Mr Mulcahy spoke about, such as what Adelaide City Council is doing to get young people to stay in the city, should be looked at closely by this government. The bigger issue is about job opportunities and about the ability to buy a house, at entry level, at a decent price. That is one of the reasons why we are seeing people move out of Canberra and into the region and away. It is disappointing when the government dismisses those issues as non-issues or shoots the messenger. They are significant issues that need to be addressed if we are going to grow. Growth is important. I am happy to put it on the record that I think growth in the territory is important, at a reasonable rate.

Dr Foskey spoke a bit, later on, about how she was not anti-growth. I do not know if she is anti-growth or not, but I know that the Greens have a chequered history in their attitude to immigration. I would like to put the point to Dr Foskey that her party was consistently about zero population growth in this country because of the ecological footprint, but changed their policy in 2001 when the Tampa came along because they saw a political opportunity. At their core, the Greens do not believe in immigration.

It is an insular, xenophobic party. They try to make out that they are the friends of the refugees and are the friends of this and that. They are the friends of the refugees but not of mass immigration. I do not think they have a very clear policy. They take a holier-than-thou attitude to it consistently. I am pro-refugee and pro-immigration. It is a good thing for this country. I do not look upon every human life as to what their ecological footprint might be; I look at the inherent value of that person rather than whether or not they are going to use some water or have some sort of impact on the environment.

I am concerned when Dr Foskey makes herself out to be pro-immigration, pro-growth or whatever. Consistently the Greens have not been about that; consistently the Greens have been anti-immigration. I do not think they have changed their colours overnight. They have done it for populist reasons, to appeal to a certain part of the population that was anti-Howard at the time of the Tampa affair. That is the truth of it; that is the truth of what the Greens believe. It would be good if they could stand up and say what they believe rather than just engaging in populist politics, as we see from Dr Brown and Dr Foskey.

Junior rugby league finals

MR GENTLEMEN (Brindabella) (6.18): It is that time of the year again. Parents fret, coaches pace and the players nervously wait for that big day. Yes, I am talking about the under-11s rugby league grand final. Last Saturday, I attended the grand final series at Bruce Stadium. Two formidable opponents met on the paddock—Cooma, aka the Junior Cockroaches, and the locals from south Tuggeranong. From the sounding of the starting hooter, the crowd knew that this would be a nail-biter. And we were not disappointed.

South Tuggeranong provided fantastic defence, keeping the Junior Roaches at bay and then went on the attack, testing the stamina of the kids from Cooma. What these players lacked in size, they made up for in courage and determination. The set plays developed into opportunities with south Tuggeranong taking the ball up to Cooma’s line five times in the latter half of the game, only to be held up or denied by the determined Roaches.

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