Page 1933 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 25 June 2008
I know that the movers of those early motions put up plausible reasons for moving them, but the underlying cause was minority government, which is inherently unstable and creates openings for opportunistic political stunts such as this one. Minority government cannot create the stable conditions required by business and the wider community to prosper. The second Stanhope Labor government has held a majority, exercised it reasonably and created the stable conditions required to attract and keep projects of the size of the one proposed by the TRE consortium.
The only other successful no-confidence motion against a chief minister was against Mrs Carnell, for her inept administration—and two members opposite were ministers during that phase, too.
Mr Stefaniak: A very good administration, actually.
MR HARGREAVES: He adds quietly to himself. Admittedly, Mrs Carnell was another Liberal leader that jumped before being pushed—she resigned before the motion could be debated—but she knew the numbers were against her. She was smarter than Mr Seselja: she could count; apparently he cannot.
That no-confidence motion was against Mrs Carnell; it was not against her and her government. The Stanhope opposition had no interest in creating an unstable environment, even if there was a minority government. We wanted good process, arm’s length, transparent processes, and eventually we got them. The no-confidence motion against Mrs Carnell was not a precipitate, knee-jerk reaction; time was taken to build the case. Before tabling the motion, Mr Stanhope chaired the Select Committee on Government Contracting and Procurement Processes. The committee held an inquiry and made recommendations to ensure that the principles of openness, fairness and value for money were embodied in government dealings. Would the man that led that committee do the things that the Leader of the Opposition is accusing him of? I do not think so. I doubt it.
As a result of that committee’s work, an independent member, Mr Osborne—note, not the government but an independent—put up the Public Access to Government Contracts Bill 2000. The minority Liberal government was led kicking and screaming to the roundtable conference at which it, the Labor opposition and independents agreed on the clauses of the bill to be put to the Assembly. It passed into law with our support and, after a series of amendments since then, became the Government Procurement Act.
All that sterling work put in over a period of years matches the government’s work in reforming the land release process so that it works in the community’s interests of fairness and value for money. The development that has taken place under this government is second to none. It has brought business and jobs to the city to make us one of the strongest economies in the country.
The planning process has been extensively overhauled by my colleagues Mr Corbell, the former Minister for Planning, and Mr Barr, the current Minister for Planning, in spite of the endeavours of the erstwhile minister for planning, the youngest leader of the Liberal opposition—or, should I say, the latest leader of the Liberal opposition—