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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 May 2008) . . Page.. 1536 ..

I believe in our political system. I believe that it works and that it has delivered a very good result over a very long period of time for the people of Australia and the ACT. You are never going to please everybody, and that is why we have adversarial politics. Governments do make mistakes, but I believe that the system works far better than I could ever imagine a participatory budget process working.

I understand, from Dr Foskey’s own blog, that the Brazilian city she visited is moving away from the pure process, with a newer system that possibly provides more manageable representation. This is, without knowing the exact circumstances—and I put that caveat on my remarks—probably recognition of the problems inherent in the participatory budget process that has been developed. I recognise, however, her interest in the topic and I hope my contribution will be well received.

MR SPEAKER: The discussion is concluded.

Gas-fired power station

Debate resumed.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.42): With my six minutes and 43 seconds left, I will continue. We were discussing this praise from Mr Barr of Mr Gentleman, and how Mr Gentleman had worked to get the extension. But the extension was moved by the community. Mr Pratt had talked about it, I had talked about it, and we talked with Actew about it. Actew said at the public meeting on the Monday night that they would seek the extension. So in handing praise here, Mr Barr, I think you need to be very, very careful, because Mr Gentleman gave an undertaking to the meeting. Has he told you about that undertaking?

I see from the look on Mr Barr’s face that Mr Gentleman forgot to tell the Minister for Planning about the other undertaking. And the other undertaking, as Mick stood there and stared down the crowd about his concerns about what his government was doing to his constituents in Macarthur, was that he was going to tell the planning and environment committee and that they would be very, very interested in what was happening and what the government was doing. I am sure that when Mr Gentleman jumps up he will tell us, so that the good residents of Macarthur know exactly that he has fulfilled his promise and has informed the committee.

Mr Barr: That’s shock horror, isn’t it? You had me worried for a second there.

MR SMYTH: Yes, I know you were worried there for a minute, Mr Barr, and you should be worried. But that is the whole point—that the residents of Macarthur, in particular, feel entirely disenfranchised by this project because they had expectations of their government and time and time and time again over the last five years those expectations have been crushed.

The amendment that Mr Barr has moved to the motion is not the amendment that I expect the people of Macarthur were looking for. Yes, I am sure they are all well aware that the application has gone forward according to the rules; Mr Barr has made

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