Page 1665 - Week 05 - Thursday, 8 May 2008

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neglect. On ABC radio not long ago, Minister Hargreaves went to great pains to ignore the 50 or so callers who had phoned in to voice their disgust at the look and safety of the city centre, instead opting to take the head-in-the-sand approach that he is famous for. Mr Hargreaves went so far as to say that he was proud of his and his department’s actions in regard to the look of the city.

What does he have to be proud of? We do not have to look too far to see the disgraceful state of our city. And we do not have to look too much further to see the state our suburban shopping centres and parks are in. On my daily walks at lunchtime I see the good old Braddon CityScape depot, which is continually adorned in graffiti. Often the graffiti does not change for six weeks at a time. How does that demonstrate Mr Hargreaves’s seriousness about his responsibility? The minister’s own depot—responsible for cleaning or at least supervising or inspecting the city landscape—is covered in graffiti and the minister does not give a stuff.

I finish with waste management. There is no vision by the government. How about no waste by 2010? It is an unrealistic goal on the part of this government. There is simply the announcement of money to find another landfill site. Where is the vision? What about alternative strategies? What about recycling? What about green waste and those sorts of issues?

This is a budget which is full of bubble. There is no vision; there is no faith that these targets can be met. (Time expired.)

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) (6.16), in reply: In closing the debate, I thank members for their contributions. I think it is appropriate at this stage to acknowledge again the significance of this budget for the future of Canberra and the ACT. It is a budget that quite truly prepares the Australian Capital Territory for the future. It is quite clear from the comments and the commentary that we received today, particularly from the opposition, that they essentially accept and acknowledge that that is the true position and the status of the budget that was delivered. This is the biggest, the most expansive and the most visionary budget that has ever been delivered in the ACT, one that really does allow us to take control of our destiny and prepare ourselves for the future to ensure that Canberra is ready.

We have seen it today, too, particularly in the response of the Leader of the Opposition in a 40-minute presentation of the Liberal Party’s position in relation to the budget. There was no vision; there were no alternative proposals put; there was no underlying understanding of the issues that the territory or the community face. There was a real inclination to play politics, a looking back—opposition for the sake of opposition.

Mr Barr: I thought his camera work was outstanding.

MR STANHOPE: Yes. Some significant media advice has been taken and the presentation to the camera was something of a first.

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