Page 447 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 4 March 2008

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establishing a children’s physical activity foundation to provide support for schools, with sporting equipment, community ambassadors and funding grants. These initiatives will ensure that the community continues to reap the benefits of high-quality education and access to school sport and physical education.

Along with a healthy and active community, Canberrans in the future need to be assured they will have access to one of the more basic rights—that is, housing. Canberra, along with the rest of the country, is experiencing challenges in the area of housing affordability. The government has put in place a range of policies, through the affordable housing action plan that was released in April last year, to address these issues. We continue to plan for the future of our city, in contrast to those opposite, who seem only to have plans for their personal advancement in the Liberal Party.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.02): When I saw this matter of public importance on the notice paper this morning, I immediately reached for my copy of last week’s City News because I thought I would find the answer there. And there we have it: on page 8 there is an article headed “Meet the man with the plan”. So I looked for the plan. “The man with the plan”: I thought this might almost be a matter of Mick morphing into the Martin Luther King of the south. Martin Luther King said, “I have a dream.” With Mick, it is a matter of saying, “I’ve got a plan.”

When I looked for the plan, I saw that it was all about him. It was not about his constituents; it was not even about his party. It was about Mick and his personal ambition. It was about Mick, Mick, Mick. I think Mick has seen the light on the hill, he has been dazzled by it and it has affected him. Hence today we see this hastily cobbled together MPI. I say it was hastily cobbled together because when I read it and I saw the words “the importance of planning for the future of Canberra”, I was sure we were not planning for the past of Canberra. It is this sort of bad language that is cobbled together that worries me.

I do know that the Labor Party have a plan for the future of Canberra, and that is because they know what is going to happen with Mr Hargreaves and the Chief Minister. Their plan is to run six candidates in two electorates for their succession plan, because neither Mr Hargreaves nor the Chief Minister are going to serve a full term, despite their protestations. Obviously, the ALP also have a plan for Mr Gentleman. Perhaps you should be a little bit worried about that, Mr would-be minister and Mr would-be Speaker, because you may well not get to run for the second term of your ministerial ambition and for the third term of your ambition to be Speaker.

It is quite interesting that in the article he described himself as “Mick, the socialist estate agent”. Even back in socialist Russia, they had five-year plans—heroic workers’ plans to change things. But no, under the Stanhope government, everything is now a 12-year plan—Mick, the 12-year plan man. It is a shame that the minister has left because we should talk about the government’s plan for the balloon fiesta, which is rapidly becoming the balloon fiasco. The minister said, just two weeks ago today, that they were going to get the best value for taxpayers’ money by changing horses, by shifting it from the community-based Canberra Balloon Fiesta Incorporated—a community-based organisation with a board—to a private firm. They were going to give them $70,000 to run the event.

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