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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 06 Hansard (Friday, 27 June 2008) . . Page.. 2292 ..

MR SPEAKER: Order! Name calling is just not acceptable, so withdraw it, Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: I withdraw. They have adopted the most amazingly hypocritical position, Mr Speaker, on this matter. This is the party that tries to have it both ways. Three months ago, Mr Smyth was out there belting away saying the government must do more to support projects that help diversify the ACT economy—“It must be done, it is very, very important. Stop relying on land revenue, stop relying on the existing sources of revenue.” Of course, when a project comes along, what is the first thing members of the Liberal Party do? They say they are going to chain themselves to the bulldozers if this thing goes ahead. I mean, that is the position of the Liberal Party on this matter.

Their hypocrisy knows no ends, because, even today, we have heard members of the Liberal Party talk about how they believe this is a very, very, very important project, that must go ahead. But they are doing absolutely everything they can to prevent the project from going ahead. Their hypocrisy on this matter is being seen for what it is right across this community. You talk to people in the business community, you talk to people who are interested in investing in this city, and what do you hear from them? They say, “This mob can’t surely want to be the alternative government, can they?” For heaven’s sake, everything that they do, everything that they say, they profess support for the project, but then at every step they criticise, undermine, and seek to completely destabilise the statutory processes that these sorts of projects must go through.

What is particularly remarkable is that the shadow minister for planning—whoever that is now, I think it is still Mr Seselja—does not seem to have any understanding of how the statutory process works when it comes to dealing with assessing projects of this nature. This man has been the shadow minister for planning for the last two to three years. He has been on numerous Assembly inquiries; he has been through the planning reform process, and he still does not seem to understand the triggers and the mechanisms for activating an environmental impact assessment and other assessments that relate to projects of this scale. The question has to be asked: why does he not understand that? Is it because he is genuinely ignorant and has no idea, or is it the case that perhaps he sees some political gain to be achieved by feigning a complete lack of knowledge of the process. Either he is simply ignorant or he is duplicitous in that regard.

Mrs Dunne: Point of order, Mr Speaker, I think accusing a member of being duplicitous is also unparliamentary.

MR SPEAKER: Withdraw that, Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: I withdraw that, Mr Speaker. I note that Mrs Dunne does not think that he is ignorant. I will let that stand.

Mrs Dunne: On the point of order, Mr Speaker—

MR SPEAKER: He has withdrawn it.

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