Page 1932 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 25 June 2008

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government’s decision to move the power station site from industrial land at Hume to Tuggeranong where it will be close to residents. That is why the opposition declares today that we have no confidence in this Chief Minister. I urge members to support this motion.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing, Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (3.51): I observe that we are talking about Canberra’s second gas-fired power station—the first gas-fired power station we heard this afternoon and this morning, delivering the biggest load of garbage I have struck in 10 years since coming to this place.

Mrs Burke: And that is why you did not go to the community meeting, isn’t it—too scared, lily-livered?

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, if Mrs Burke wishes to talk to herself because no-one else will listen, I would like to invite her to go outside and talk to them because she has got more friends out there.

It is time for the Leader of the Opposition to attempt to gain some traction in the community. It is time for the Leader of the Opposition to try to gain some attention from the voters. It is time for the annual no-confidence motion in the Chief Minister. I wondered also earlier on today whether if Mrs Dunne became the leader between now and the election we would see another no-confidence motion, because it seems to be a rite of passage for those people across the chamber.

All the leaders of the opposition have had a crack at moving no-confidence motions in this Chief Minister and none of them have succeeded because none of them can mount a case. Why can’t they mount a case? It is because there is no case to be made. This Chief Minister is the strongest leader that the Canberra community has had since self-government and he has managed to keep a united team behind him for the 6½ years he has been Chief Minister—he is now the longest serving head of government in the nation—because he is wedded to good processes implemented by an impartial public service. In the first Stanhope government, he needed the support of the crossbench and was able to obtain that because he was trusted and followed good process. Nothing has changed now.

Yet, in that same period, everybody opposite has had a go at being leader or acting leader of the Liberal Party, except Mr Pratt and Mrs Dunne—and there are still four months to go. The Liberals’ idea of unity is to expel anyone that does not agree with them—Mrs Cross in the last Assembly, Mr Mulcahy in this one. The late Mr Kaine jumped before he was pushed; at least Trevor was able to participate in a successful no-confidence motion against a chief minister. He was part of the push against Ms Follett, the first female head of government in the nation, and he became Chief Minister himself as a result. Eighteen months later, he fell victim to a no-confidence motion.

Those two no-confidence motions were the result of minority government, and it should be noted that the motions were against the Chief Minister and the government, unlike the present motion, which is against the Chief Minister only. Perhaps the opposition are happy with the job the rest of us are doing. Thank you very much for your vote of confidence, guys.

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