Page 168 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 13 February 2008

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MS GALLAGHER: We looked at how we could ameliorate those complaints. The majority of those complaints were not about pay parking; they were about the method of pay parking.

Mr Seselja: It was a debacle.

MS GALLAGHER: When we could not address the method of pay parking, we changed our decision. And yes, we cop it. These are hard things for governments to do. Would it have been better to ignore the feedback and maintain my position in December—

Mrs Burke interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: which was to implement pay parking, the decision of the government at the time—

Mr Smyth interjecting—

Mr Seselja: Simon was right.

Mr Smyth: Why didn’t you leave it to Simon? He didn’t want it.

MS GALLAGHER: or would it have been better to listen to what the community were saying and refine our proposal? We withdrew—

Mr Seselja interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Minister, resume your seat, please. Mr Seselja, assist me. Tell me of a way I can get you and your colleagues to cease interjecting without naming you and having you discharged from the chamber.

Mr Smyth: It’s easy, Mr Speaker. You get them to answer the questions.

Mrs Burke: That’s it—frustration, Mr Speaker.

MS GALLAGHER: I do not know what they do not understand about the answer to the question. It is quite simple: we had a position; that position was expressed in the words, I presume, that you are quoting from; the government changed its mind. Both statements are correct. It is quite an easy concept for you to understand. I am sure there will be another question about this, and it will be answered in the same way. The government changed its position on pay parking. We are building a multistorey car park; that may or may not be pay parking in the future.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, can the community be concerned about the lack of consistency between your expressed position and the Chief Minister’s expressed position? And when will there be consistency on the approach to pay parking at the hospitals?

MS GALLAGHER: There is consistency. There is no pay parking at Canberra hospitals. The government’s original proposal has been withdrawn. In response to

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