Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 November 2005) . . Page.. 4494 ..
The federal government relies on the states and territories to shoulder their share of the burden in providing counter-terrorism protections to the people in their jurisdictions. I know, after discussions I have had with the federal Attorney-General and his staff, that the federal government relies heavily on the ACT government for the protection of federal, iconic and community targets and, therefore, Canberrans, here in the ACT.
Mr Ruddock is entirely amazed at the way that Jon Stanhope has dropped the ball. The Chief Minister, blind-sighted as he is by his ideology, has unnecessarily dropped his responsibilities to ensure that the introduction of new laws, new measures, new capacities and new capabilities was expedited because he is blind-sighted by this ideology. By so doing, he has jeopardised the putting in place of sensible and professional protective measures.
By so doing, Mr Stanhope continues to poison the well of goodwill that is the relationship that we have with our federal government. Instead, we see a chief minister who dabbles too much in federal and international issues, on which he is no expert, while neglecting the ACT community. That does not impress the federal government. Instead of leaving these broader issues to the experts and to his federal counterparts, who are responsible for those issues, he interferes; he rubs the federal government the wrong way; and this impacts heavily on the ACT’s relationship with the federal government.
What we see as a consequence is the ongoing poisoning of that well and the ongoing poisoning of that goodwill. We see, therefore, a federal government increasingly less likely to put its energy, its efforts, its investments ideologically, its efforts intellectually as well as practically and financially, into the ACT. This is a concern. It is a major concern that must impact on Canberrans. Canberrans must be wondering where the hell this government is taking us in terms of building a future for the ACT at the expense of ideological pursuits.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (11.53): What we see displayed in the presentations from the opposition on this particular issue is a complete lack of willingness to carry a debate, to put the interests of the ACT forcefully in negotiations or consultations with the commonwealth and other governments. In other words, what we see is an opposition without backbone, an opposition that is prepared to be sycophantic to an extreme, an opposition that would rather crawl and an opposition, in effect, of brownnosers.
What we have seen expressed through the three speeches to date is the willingness, capacity and the rush of members of the opposition that have made presentations on this to brownnose at every opportunity and on any issue. It is all about lying down; it is all about bending over and taking it; it is all about showing a complete lack of strength or will to put a position of principle or to put a position in the interests of the people of the ACT.
The people of the ACT, reflecting on this debate this morning, should be truly alarmed. They should be truly alarmed at the prospect of the Liberal Party in the ACT ever taking government, in the face of what we have heard this morning—the sycophancy, the crawling, the brownnosing that is inherent in everything they have said and in every