Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 14 February 2008) . . Page.. 309 ..
Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker: I would like Mr Seselja to withdraw the imputation that I have said something to the Tharwa community which I have never done.
MR SESELJA: There is nothing to withdraw.
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Gentleman): Order, Mr Seselja!
Mr Hargreaves: He is insinuating that I have lied, and I want him to withdraw it. I have never, in my life, said that.
MR SESELJA: I didn’t say you lied. Excuse me—
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Hargreaves.
Mr Hargreaves: Well, I will deal with Mr Seselja later.
MR SESELJA: You can deal with it however you like—
Mr Hargreaves: Anyway, it is your call then.
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Minister Hargreaves, order!
MR SESELJA: He can deal with it however he likes. I said that he is looking to blame the Tharwa community. In his speech he implied that it was their fault—it was because they wanted it. It was not because of any information that was given to them that was wrong; it was not because the government could not get its act together. He said that it was their decision; therefore, he is saying it is their fault. I do not see that that is an unreasonable conclusion to draw from Mr Hargreaves’s comments on this issue. He can take it up however he likes.
We saw the Chief Minister express this. The Canberra Times reported that he was looking to blame the Tharwa community. The Chief Minister is going to deny that as well, I am sure, but that was the report. Of course, these ministers are always taken out of context. It is never what they meant to say; they never actually said it. The reports, once again, were about Jon Stanhope blaming the Tharwa community. In what Mr Hargreaves said today, he suggested that it was the Tharwa community’s decision; that is why there has been this delay and it has nothing to do with his failure as a minister. It has nothing to do with the failure to make proper decisions.
Of course, the Chief Minister finally acknowledged some failings. When he took over this issue, he said, “Well, if we have failed in one area, it is perhaps that we acted too quickly.” I think that sums up where their heads are at on this matter. The failure by the government on the Tharwa bridge, according to the Chief Minister, was that they acted too quickly. After 512 days of the bridge being closed, we have a fresh decision that could have been taken earlier, in which case the bridge would have been opened long ago. But the failure, according to the Chief Minister, is that they acted too quickly. I do not think that anyone in the community—anyone in the Tharwa