Page 1511 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 7 May 2008
The story also reports the frustrations and suspicions of the community in relation to the conflicting statements coming from the government, all made in the context of so-called public consultation.
Chief Minister, why is there so much conflicting information coming from you and your ministers about the future of closed school sites?
MR STANHOPE: There is not. The community are quite clear on what our government’s intentions are. The Deputy Chief Minister has made those intentions very clear, with a very clear commitment to consult with the community in relation to the future of each of the sites under investigation. There is a willingness and genuine commitment to consult.
In relation to the school sites and the government’s commitment to invest $22 million in enhancing—
Ms Gallagher: Twenty-four.
MR STANHOPE: $24 million to enhance community facilities and community access to much-needed community infrastructure. I refer you to the commentary and press statements made by the chief executive of ACTCOSS, Ara Cresswell, as recently as yesterday in relation to the strong support of the community sector for this particular initiative and the level of need that there is within the community sector for appropriate accommodation.
Once again, it is an initiative, an approach and a policy position being pursued by the government which is endorsed solidly and strongly—
Mr Seselja: You can always find an endorsement.
MR STANHOPE: Here we go. Here we have the first word from the Leader of the Opposition on ACTCOSS: “You can always find somebody to endorse anything.” And he includes ACTCOSS in that general description. There you go. In that sneering reference by the Leader of the Opposition to ACTCOSS, we detect exactly what the Liberal Party think about the community sector and indeed what the Liberal Party think about people living with disadvantage and those who support people in the community living with disadvantage—the sneering reference “Oh, you can always get ACTCOSS to say whatever you want them to say”. This is the view of the Liberal Party about the overarching community representative body within the ACT.
Mr Smyth: No, he did not say that.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
Mr Pratt: That’s a comment coming from Captain Sneer himself.
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Pratt!
Mr Seselja: He didn’t answer the question.