Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 5 March 2008) . . Page.. 556 ..
That is what Rudd and his colleagues are doing. We are seeing in many cases fairly mindless cuts. If this was being done by the Howard government, the Chief Minister would be screaming from the rafters and complaining for all he is worth. But he is amazingly meek and there has been hardly any criticism at all in relation to his federal colleagues. I say to him: that is just not the way to do it. Your job is to stand up for the people of Canberra. It does not matter if your own party or the other party is in power federally. I have certainly been to a number of ministerial meetings where people in the same party go hammer and tongs at each other. In the good old days when there were very few Labor governments, there was a Labor federal government in 1995 and I think a Queensland Labor government, and everyone else was Liberal—
Mr Barr: New South Wales.
MR STEFANIAK: New South Wales were not there. There were two Labor ministers at an education conference in 1995, and I do not think Mr Aquilina was there. It was amazing. The rest of us, all Liberals, sat and watched the Queensland minister and the federal minister, Simon Crean, go hammer and tongs over an issue. The Queensland minister was not afraid of sticking up for the state of Queensland. It was a bit like watching a tennis match. He was rabid. It just shows what you need to do. I will give a few little hints: you do that as a minister; it is something I certainly did as a minister in terms of the federal Liberal government if they were trying to screw the ACT. You usually do it without success, but sometimes you might claw back a few million dollars, and that certainly helps. It is certainly something that Kate Carnell had down to a fine art in terms of having a go at a Liberal government that was making cuts which she felt were not in the interests of the ACT. I am certainly disappointed, to put it mildly—
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order on the opposition benches!
MR STEFANIAK: that this Chief Minister, who was so rabid when it came to criticising a federal Liberal government, is so silent now when it comes to criticising his own colleagues. That is fundamentally wrong. I would agree with Mr Mulcahy because we certainly believe in efficiencies and, yes, you always need to be on the lookout for where you can legitimately make savings. But you are an absolute fool if you make minor savings in small programs that give you a good bang for their buck, because you are going to lose a hell of a lot more money down the track. I do not have a problem with the Rudd government looking around for some efficiencies in some departments if they are there to be made, but when some of these savings are so miniscule and so stupid, it behoves the ACT government, and especially its Chief Minister, to go in to bat for the people of the ACT and not meekly accept it. I think Mr Seselja has brought forward a timely motion.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.18), in reply: It is interesting that we have had the input of Andrew Barr on this issue. He is fast getting a reputation as the chief cheerleader for the federal government—the minister for federal government propaganda. If Kevin Rudd says it is a good thing, Andrew Barr is