Page 4488 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 23 November 2005

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Mr Stanhope: If there is any more of this behaviour I might have to do that. I withdraw it, but it is simply not true.

MR SPEAKER: If at some time in the future you feel as though you have been misrepresented, you are entitled to raise the matter under standing order 46 and you will be given leave.

MR MULCAHY: There was the failure to participate in the Nairn inquiry. The list goes on endlessly.

We saw the me-too approach taken in relation to the GST. I cannot explore all those issues, but let us reflect on what was said in March this year. I was looking back through some old press statements when I was researching my remarks and I noticed how the Chief Minister accused the federal Treasurer of threatening to rip up the intergovernmental agreement on tax reform, planning to raise the GST to 15 per cent and keeping the extra revenue for himself—all these prophetic statements in relation to tax reform, throwing all this argy-bargy out there, as is very much the characteristic of the Chief Minister, scare-mongering for a political audience. In fact, it is not true. If he wants to dispute those things they are contained in the Chief Minister’s press releases.

In the limited time available, let me say that it is very clear that there has been a long pattern of this attitude: let us declare war on the commonwealth and we will get ourselves a bit of a headline and a bit of publicity. I do not see the interests of the people of the ACT getting a big run in all of this.

He was given a civil request to relay concerns about whaling to the people in Nara when he went there but, because it came from the commonwealth, he could not entertain it. If John Howard went there and had the same mission, he would be a heretic. He would be a heretic because he did not carry out what Jon Stanhope wanted. It is an extraordinary level of sensitivity that the Chief Minister shows. One thing that is very clear is that handling criticism is not a characteristic that the Chief Minister excels in. I am amazed at his incapacity to seriously address these issues.

MR SPEAKER: The member’s time has expired.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo) (11.29): I had not anticipated that I would have 15 minutes to speak on this. I thought the Chief Minister would be to his feet very quickly to respond to and refute what he alleges are untruths in what Mr Mulcahy had to say. Maybe he is waiting to go and check the facts and see whether what Mr Mulcahy said may be true.

I commend Mr Mulcahy for bringing this forward. It is an important motion. It is an important debate that we have got to have because, like it or not, the federal government is obviously a very important player in the ACT. It is an important player in our economy and an important part of our employment market, in particular. Much of the expenditure in the territory is a result of federal government involvement.

It is a very important debate. Mr Stanhope seeks to make light of it, but it is an important debate to have. I guess this goes back to the fact that for a lot of people, not least our

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