Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 May 2008) . . Page.. 1435 ..
the Leader of the Opposition’s recognition rating out of single digits—at $300,000 or $310,000 you pay a $20 servicing fee and not the numbers that the Liberal Party is running. Of course, it is all in the detail: “Let’s put in here at the top of our little ad that it’s for first home buyers only, and then run a column showing the maximum payable under Labor.” That does not take account of the fact that that is not the column that applies to first home buyers receiving a concession. So we have this devious, twisted, sneaky advertising which, if one were to test it, must only just comply with the Electoral Act. It certainly does not pass the test of transparency or accountability. You have this keen, young, new leader—the fresh face—in his first advertisement to the people of Canberra, running an ad which is disingenuous to the point of being dishonest. This is the new face, the new approach, of the Liberal Party. That is what the advertisement is. It is not honest; it is designed to mislead.
Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: he accused the next Chief Minister of being dishonest, and he should withdraw.
MR SPEAKER: I think he was referring to the advertisements.
MR STANHOPE: I was referring to a Liberal Party ad which, in its construction, to be as kind as one can be, is deliberately disingenuous, deliberately designed to mislead, and creates a construction in relation to stamp duty payable that is designed to mislead the people of Canberra. I think it is such a pity, in his first foray into policy. Of course, don’t forget that this is the first policy in 3½ years, and it is totally flawed. It will have the reverse impact or effect to that which is actually desired. It will push up the price of housing. It will exclude people in genuine housing stress in the housing market and will force them to compete with people who have absolutely no issues around capacity to pay. It is flawed policy, it is simplistic, it is a stunt and it should not be supported.
Olympic torch relay
MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Chief Minister and relates to the Olympic torch relay. Chief Minister, I will preface my question by congratulating everyone involved in the organisation of the Olympic torch relay.
Mr Pratt: Including the People’s Republic of China?
MR MULCAHY: No, I am talking about the people who organised the event, Mr Pratt, the federal police in particular. Do not denigrate them. My question, Chief Minister, is: what was the final total cost of the Olympic torch relay and related taxpayer funded events? Can you update the Assembly on your negotiations with the commonwealth about them meeting half of the final cost?
MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I thank Mr Mulcahy for the question. The budgeted cost of the torch relay, as I think members are aware, was $950,000. I understand that the budgeted or anticipated cost was $950,000. At the time that the government first agreed to a request from Beijing, from China, to host one of the 23 legs of the Beijing torch relay in terms of a sort of celebration that we anticipated would maximise the exposure of the ACT and Canberra to the people of Australia and the world, we believed—and I continue to believe—that the Olympic torch relay