Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 15 Hansard (Wednesday, 14 December 2005) . . Page.. 4841 ..
MR SMYTH: Certainly, Mr Speaker. We have been left behind. We used to have the best online services in the country. We were leading this country, if not the world. There is a beaut web site—I think it is in Sweden—that used to rank the ACT online e-government and e-commerce as one of the three best in the world. Since this lot have come to office, we have slipped off that list. We do not lead the world. That is the problem. If you do not continually improve, then you fall behind.
Mr Gentleman: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I ask that you direct Mr Smyth to be relevant to the motion.
MR SPEAKER: Relevance, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Relevance! The Chief Minister asked why you have to make improvements. I am outlining why, if you do not make improvements, you fall behind. If the Chief Minister is happy for the ACT economy to fall behind, as it has under his government—
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, be relevant, please. Whatever the Chief Minister raises by way of interjection does not give you the right to be irrelevant.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I am being entirely relevant. He asked why you would have workplace changes. I am just pointing out why there should be workplace changes.
MR SPEAKER: I will order you to sit down if you do not become relevant. Stick to the motion.
MR SMYTH: Since the first workplace relations reforms were put in place back in 1966, 1.7 million new jobs have been created. The prophets of doom said, “The Howard government has come to office. It is the end of the world as we know it.” Today the budgetary position has been restored and Australia has one of the strongest economies in the world.
In 1996 the government made changes to employment services. The prophets of doom cried, “There will be more unemployed. This is a callous federal government.” They were wrong again. There are less unemployed. They said that Mr Howard was never going to achieve what he wanted with the gun buyback. The gun buyback worked and the higher ed reforms worked. This morning those opposite spoke out about the GST—
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth—
MR SMYTH: I am responding to the debate this morning, Mr Speaker. This morning the same people who have been critical of workplace reform were critical of the GST reforms. Mr Gentleman referred to GST in his speech.
MR SPEAKER: I think it was Mr Mulcahy.
MR SMYTH: Maybe it was Mr Mulcahy.
MR SPEAKER: Do you disagree with him?