Page 2293 - Week 06 - Friday, 27 June 2008

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Mrs Dunne: I consider that the usual cut and thrust we expect from Mr Corbell.

MR SPEAKER: That is not a point of order. Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: I know you had to get that in there, Vicki. It was very important to clarify that in the eyes of your leader.

MR SPEAKER: Never mind that. Direct your comments through the chair, Mr Corbell.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, he is clearly exploiting—

Mr Seselja: Mr Four Per Cent!

MR CORBELL: I have seen my polling, Mr Seselja, and I have seen yours, too! The issue at stake here is the contradictory and hypocritical approach adopted by the Liberal opposition. Even tonight, we heard Mr Smyth saying, “Well, yes, we think an alternative power supply for the city is a good thing, but we don’t believe you. We don’t believe it is going to happen at this alternative location.” What is most interesting I find is that if they do truly believe that the Long Gully Road site is inappropriate, then where do they believe is appropriate? Where have they suggested that it should go?

I heard Mr Smyth talk about a site at Hume, which, of course, is about the same distance to the suburb of Gilmore as the other site is to other suburbs that are concerned. They seem to think it is all right to have it close to some suburbs, but it is not all right to have it close to other suburbs. What an incredibly hypocritical position. The Liberal Party’s position on this seems to be, “Well, we are very happy to have it close to one bunch of suburbs, but not close to this other bunch of suburbs.” Perhaps it has something to do with where the Leader of the Opposition lives, Mr Speaker. Perhaps he is quite happy to have it close to a suburb where he does not live, but he is not so happy to have it close to a suburb where he does live. They really have not been capable of reconciling their position in that regard.

These are the issues that the Liberal Party will eventually be held to account for. Out there in the investment community and the broader Canberra business community, we know that the many, many who are employed in that sector, the private sector in particular, are asking, “Why on earth is a party that professes itself to be the party of business, the party that supports private sector investment, coming out against this project?” That is the challenge then, Mr Speaker. Mr Seselja may feel that he has got some short-term political gain from this, but what he and his colleagues are putting at stake is an incredibly valuable level of investment. But, more importantly, they are putting at stake confidence of business to invest in this city. They have done nothing to reassure the community that they will be a party that has any interest in providing a stable environment in which proposals can be properly assessed, properly investigated, and then decisions made about whether or not they should proceed.

This government stands by the statutory planning process. This government stands by a process that we know is a robust one and which takes into account whether or not

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