Page 205 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 13 February 2008

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and we were advised at the roundtable that that is not an odd-occasion thing. These are the challenges being faced by police, by the taxi industry, by bus drivers and by business owners. There are a range of issues that need to be addressed, and that is why the opposition has run this motion today.

I am personally concerned that Nightrider and Nightlink are seen to work properly, and perhaps they need more resources. They certainly need to be made a lot more secure. The other issues which my colleagues have addressed here today are all part of the overall mosaic of what needs to be done. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I commend the motion, and I hope that the government will, in bipartisan spirit, take on board some of the issues which are raised.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.28): I will not say too much further. I thank members for their contributions. I am particularly disappointed that the government has rejected the words that refer to the positive contribution of the community stakeholders who attended the roundtable. I think that will be a great disappointment to each and every one of those stakeholders individually—that the government does not value their contribution to this debate. I think it is important that we deal directly with the community, and I think simply because the government does not organise a discussion does not mean that the contribution from it is not valuable; it does not mean that it is not worth taking into account; it does not mean that it should be rejected out of hand, as the government is doing by moving this amendment to my motion.

I certainly will not be supporting this amendment. I think it is a poor amendment. The motion is something I would have thought everyone would have agreed with, and I am very surprised that the minister cannot quite bring himself to agree to it. Perhaps it is because he did not have the idea, and I think that is unfortunately what it comes down to.

I can say from the opposition’s perspective that we will continue to work with the community; we will continue to offer solutions to these issues and others that come up. We will not be deterred, and we will continue to offer our solutions to the government if they can be of assistance. The government needs to change its attitude. It needs to accept sometimes that good ideas do not always come from government; they do come directly from the community; they do come from the opposition. When they do, they should be embraced as good ideas and not rejected because of who has brought the ideas forward.

I thank all of the other members for their contributions. I believe it is a good motion. I believe it has been a very positive process, and I think it is incumbent upon us as elected representatives to continue to work with the community to find solutions to problems faced by Canberrans to try and improve the lives of Canberrans. That is what this roundtable process was designed to do. This motion was a discussion of that. It is an unfortunate amendment that the government has moved, and we certainly will not be supporting it.

Question put:

That the amendment be agreed to.

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