Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1134 ..
Mr Seselja: They could not get aged care through because of the planning system.
MR SMYTH: Aged care, there is another industry that is being affected. But the Chief Minister will get up in a few minutes and give us his tirade—
MR SPEAKER: Order, members! This is a one-hour discussion. Other members will have a chance to have their say—not by way of interjections, though.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, of particular note is the decision by the Rudd government to chop the project to redevelop Constitution Avenue. This is actually taking money back that was already appropriated for this. We see the consequences just spiralling down Constitution Avenue where we want to bring life to the city, and the Rudd government is going to strangle it. We see developments on sites like the current RSL headquarters, which are a bit dated—I think we all agree with that—and which will not go ahead because the Rudd government has slashed this money, and we are waiting for an answer as to what the Stanhope Labor government will do. That decision will have planning implications for a range of sites up and down Constitution Avenue. The real problem that we have in the ACT is that we have a Chief Minister who cannot or will not take off his rose-coloured glasses and stand up for business and jobs in the ACT.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts) (4.57): I welcome the opportunity again to highlight that issues that we face in the ACT in relation to a tightening of the belt by the commonwealth. They are, of course, a direct response to 10 years of Liberal government mismanagement, eight interest rate rises in the last three years and an additional monthly mortgage bill for young Canberra families of $370—an increased cost of $110,000 over the life of an average mortgage for an average young Canberra family entering the housing market. That is what this motion is about—the incompetent economic management by the Liberal Party federally. That has meant for young Canberra families $110,000 over the life of the mortgage—370 bucks a month. That is the Brendan Smyth legacy—the Liberal legacy, a legacy of incompetent Liberal Party economic management.
It is interesting that Mr Smyth continues to raise these issues that highlight the incompetence of his party in government. It is incompetence, of course, that he shared during his time in government when the then Liberal government in the ACT delivered budget deficit after budget deficit after budget deficit, so that by the time they had been in government for five years they had accumulated deficits in excess of $800 million, which was probably an Australian record in the context of the size of the budget at the time.
In the context of cuts to business and jobs in the ACT, it really is a bit premature, having regard to the fact that the budget has not yet been delivered, to be talking about cuts in jobs and business. That was the focus of the presentation or contribution by the