Page 4925 - Week 15 - Thursday, 15 December 2005

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MS MacDONALD: My question through you, Mr Speaker, is to Mr Stanhope in his capacity as Chief Minister. The year 2005, the first year of the second term in office of the Stanhope Labor government, has been one of great achievement.

Mr Smyth: You have got to tell the truth, Karin. You can’t say “great achievements”.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that.

Mr Smyth: I withdraw.

MS MacDONALD: Minister, can you outline for the Assembly the extent of those achievements, remembering of course that standing orders limit the time for your first response?

MR STANHOPE: I am delighted to respond to Ms MacDonald’s question today. It has been a very good year for the government. Indeed, the government has had four very good years. Each of the ministers in my government has presided extremely well over a list of most notable achievements in the last 12 months. It is appropriate today that I reflect on some of those achievements.

Mr Quinlan has presided over much work that involved repairing or patching up omissions or simply mistakes made by the Liberal Party when in government. Included in that is the establishment of a dedicated Department of Economic Development. That was followed by the development of the master concept of the City West precinct, involving the government, the ANU and Baulderstone, that will see a $600 million investment to build over the next five to 10 years the smart zone linking the ANU with the City Hill precinct, which will help Canberra along the way to becoming a city along the lines of Cambridge, Oxford and San Diego. All members would applaud the fact that the first $50 million of that $600 million investment has been announced and is under way.

We have commenced the process for the multi-million dollar refurbishment of the National Convention Centre, after the masterstroke of purchasing it for $1.10, something promised by the Liberal Party in government but never delivered and certainly never appropriated or allocated by the previous government.

Mr Quinlan’s department, going back to the point that I made before, has fixed up the defunct, appalling agreement made by the previous government on Impulse Airlines. We all remember that as another one of the major stuff-ups of the other government. It has been fixed by the signing of a deal with Qantas that will see one of its key subsidiary businesses, Qantas Defence Services, set up a new business facility at Canberra international airport, as was always anticipated by the Liberal Party with Impulse but which they could never deliver.

We remember that raft of Liberal Party achievements during the time of Impulse, headed up by Kinlyside and the Canberra Hospital. The Leader of the Opposition, particularly as a result of his place in the cabinet that oversaw the construction of Bruce Stadium,

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