Page 1959 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 25 June 2008
interference. Absolutely no-one in government, of course, has point blank ruled out an environmental impact statement for this project. My understanding is that ACTPLA is still considering the preliminary assessment. The process is continuing. Again, can we allow the process to run its course at an appropriate arm’s length from government and without interference?
I will not be supporting either the amendments or the substantive motion. We do need to remember that what we are debating here today is a very important subject. We need to remember exactly why the opposition has put on hold important Assembly business for more than a week for what is essentially nothing more than a political stunt. We need to remember, and it has been shown here today, that Mr Seselja, the geographically challenged Leader of the Opposition, is the one who has misled the community on this subject. In fact, I bet he will try and mislead the members of his electorate in October by pretending he is one of them. It is Macarthur’s highest profile resident who has tried to frighten the life out of the people in his suburb, while moving his family smack-bang in the middle of his so-called danger zone.
The Leader of the Opposition cannot have it both ways. He ducked questions by the Canberra Times on this topic and appears to have got away with it there. He must not be allowed to get away with it here. Mr Seselja needs to put on the record here today, and I suggest he does it when he closes the debate, exactly when he purchased his new property in Macarthur. Mr Seselja also needs to put on the record when he was first briefed about the CTC proposal. Mr Seselja needs to put on the record whether he actually chose to move his family into Macarthur because he knew the planned data centre and power station was harmless but he has chosen to oppose it anyway, in a farcical attempt at political gain.
With respect to political gain, let me elaborate on that point for a moment. The Leader of the Opposition sat idle while the initial debate surrounding this significant investment was played out in the public arena. Mr Seselja was nowhere to be heard or seen when the public meetings were taking place. Mr Seselja was nowhere to be heard or seen when the community consultation process was going on at the Vikings club. You were there, Mr Deputy Speaker. Where was Mr Seselja when all of this was taking place? He was most likely with his family at his home in Macarthur. That is right: 600-odd metres from the development proposal, and he sat by and said nothing. Why, Mr Deputy Speaker? Because he saw nothing wrong with it.
Opposition members interjecting—
MR GENTLEMAN: So when did the Leader of the Opposition start talking? It was when he thought he had an opportunity to score some political points. But while Mr Seselja was mulling over the documents and how he could turn this terrific—
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I will ask those on the opposition benches to come to order. I want to hear Mr Gentleman’s speech in detail so that I can check it for relevance, but I can’t hear anything.
MR GENTLEMAN: I was asking: when did the Leader of the Opposition start talking? It was when he thought he saw an opportunity to score some cheap political points. But while Mr Seselja was mulling over the documents and how he could turn