Page 548 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 5 March 2008

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place itself—the amenities of the lake and the parks and all of the others, the Griffin plan and so on. Canberra used to be, and it could still be, a model city. I think the Griffin legacy was keeping us in that mould. I think it would be tragedy if that got left.

Remember that even Griffin’s plan got left for decades until Menzies came in and picked it up again and said, “It is worth spending money on Canberra. It is worth the Australian taxpayers’ money being spent on Canberra because it is the national capital and it matters.” Not only that, it provides a model. It used to be best practice in planning and development, and the NCDC was part of that. I am sure there are people in the NCA who still have that motivation. Instead of going, “I am black, you are white,” we need to actually use this place to have a discussion because basically we all care about Canberra. It seems to get forgotten.

It is a sorry day if we are going to see more amendments like this. They have almost no relativity to the motion at hand and skew the debate and make me wonder why we even bothered coming.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (4.48): There is some sense in what Dr Foskey just said, although I guess it is a very optimistic view of the world that that sort of approach would be taken in this place. We did see this morning a moderate approach in relation to another matter, so there might be hope yet.

I welcome Mr Seselja’s motion today and will speak to that original motion and the Chief Minister’s amendment cognately. I support Mr Seselja’s original motion, but I cannot support the amendment put forward by the Chief Minister. Although I do agree with some of the elements in the second point in the amendment, to dismiss current inflationary pressures as a legacy of the Howard government is incorrect, is simplistic and is nothing more than a political line. It discredits the entire amendment.

Honestly, how could anyone put up a proposal that talks about the bitter legacy of Liberal Party financial mismanagement? I can understand it from someone who is young, like the minister for education, but Mr Stanhope is older than I. If he cannot remember what serious commonwealth financial mismanagement was, then I fear he is losing his memory, because I can remember it. I can remember that, in 1974, we thought it was pretty amazing that your pay packet changed every two weeks because the price of wages was going through the roof. I did not own any property then and credit cards were a new thing, but those in business who coped with the 18, 20, 22 per cent borrowing rates would tell you about economic disasters under the Whitlam government.

Mr Barr: What was Howard’s last rate when he was Treasurer?

MR MULCAHY: Howard’s last rate when he was Treasurer was not 22 per cent.

The dramas that Australia experienced back in the early 1990s are emblazoned on the minds of many families who saw businesses fail. I simply cannot accept a proposition that Australia is in the middle of an economic disaster. Yes, there are inflationary pressures. But unless you are living in a complete state of isolation, to ignore the events going on on the world economic stage at the moment, to ignore the impact of

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