Page 82 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 12 February 2008

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post-decision, so-called consultation process. That is what we have seen until late last year or early this year when finally this government embarked on a number of meaningful consultation processes. They have consulted well on the bus network; they have finally consulted on the Tharwa bridge at the end of the day, but it has taken six years for the ACT community to see any meaningful consultation exercised by this government.

We can talk about other issues. Small though it may be in the greater scheme of things, the Grassby statue at $75,000 represented a decision made where there was no consultation process. I know for a fact that there was no wide consultation with the multicultural community. This was a political decision; it was an ideological decision that was made within the Labor Party and not broadly across the multicultural community. In fact I could quote the Chief Minister about the Grassby statue when he said:

… if I had my time again or if I was involved in the decision, perhaps the outcome might have been different or perhaps if our processes had been more rigorous at the time … I acknowledge they were not.

We have talked today about hospital pay parking and what a sham that turned out to be. We have talked so many times in this place about FireLink and the emergency services in general. As to the $5 million wasted on FireLink, I do not have time to repeat them, but the record will show from previous debates the litany of management failures and decision failures through the four years of the FireLink project before it was finally shot and put out of its misery. The Chief Minister said:

Certainly there were a range of issues in relation to process, in retrospect, as fully explained by Mr Corbell and as otherwise exposed in relation to the procurement—the failure to test and to do the level of due diligence that was obviously necessary and required.

Mr Speaker, we have seen back flips on the bridge, the busway, FireLink, hospital pay parking and the policy on dams, all of which reflect indecisiveness on the part of this government. They reflect a lack of vision and a lack of planning on the part of this government. The Chief Minister cannot keep acknowledging the mistakes made by his government with regard to process and accountability without putting into practice some lessons learnt. Obviously no lessons have been learnt.

Mr Speaker, we do not see the government learning from its mistakes. I conclude by saying that, on the back of all of this, I call upon the Stanhope government to apologise to the Tharwa community in particular and the ACT community in general.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (4.46): I am pleased that this matter has been brought on for discussion by the Assembly because it gives the government an opportunity at the beginning of an election year to reiterate its commitment to open and accountable government. That was a commitment that brought my party to government in 2001, and we are still committed to it. Compare this commitment to the failure of leadership by the previous Liberal government in the ACT. Successive Carnell and Humphries administrations consistently failed to

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