Page 4864 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 14 December 2005
the stars in the eyes quickly fade. You could say, “What are the commonsense things to do?”
I heard the opposition, in particular Mr Brendan Smyth, talk about the need to grow the economy, but I have not heard one constructive suggestion as to how to grow the economy. The one that stuck with me was the thriving fashion industry that Mr Smyth was going to engender into the town had they won the last election or the election before. I am very happy to hear some constructive suggestions as to how to grow the economy. I am sure you would be aware, if you wanted to look, if you wanted to see, that this government has applied more resources and energy to growing the economy than governments past.
In extending further on the theme that this would make a great case study, this legislation is “I am going to get in first” legislation. Someone puts a plan on the table and there is a public discussion about what the vehicle might be and whether we have a commercial body and then you have the opposition rushing in and getting some legislation drafted so that they can be first. All of a sudden you get some ownership of somebody else’s idea: “I have not got many of my own.” You get hold of the idea and try to own it and try to steer the publicity to say that it is an opposition full of ideas. We know that is nonsense and the little theatrics, the pantomime, that we go through.
Mrs Dunne’s speech was, not atypically, more a discourse on the failings of the planning minister and a lack of spine, courage and vision. She is the one that for many years advised the dynamic Gary Humphries, Gary the unready. It is quite obvious now that Gary held her dynamism back and that it would have burgeoned had she been part of a winning election team.
I am glad to see that there has been some change over time. We would probably have seen the Liberals, had they been in government, rushing to this proposal under the banner of “build it and they will come”. If you build the dam, it will be okay. What about “build a stadium and they will come”?
Mr Smyth: And they did.
MR QUINLAN: Only after all the money that was spent had been written off. In terms of its being an asset, under the audit reports, was it value for money? No. One section of the audit report said that it was not value for money. That is history now.
If you are in opposition, you can pick up on a possible project like this and say, “That looks good; it has got pretty pictures; we do not have to be responsible for it; therefore, we will be courageous and we will be adventurous.” It seems to me that being courageous and being dynamic is so much easier over there than it was when you had anything to do with running the territory.
Although we would all like to think that the Colin Stewart plan for City Hill was viable—and I would love to think it was viable—if it was viable and if it was doable over a reasonable period of time, then I would be supporting legislation that set up a body to implement it as well. I would go for that. But I would have to be convinced. I would have to be sure that it was not like one of the examples used here, Docklands,