Page 2829 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 5 August 2008

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Mr Gentleman: Yes, I am still talking to the point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: And the standing order is?

MR SMYTH: Can we stop the clock?

Mr Gentleman: Well, I am seeking your advice, Mr Deputy Speaker, on standing orders as to whether Mr Smyth is talking to a motion which is not yet before the Assembly.

MR SMYTH: Could you stop the clock, please?

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, stop the clock. Clerk, stop the clock.

Mr Gentleman: So the question I ask you, Mr Deputy Speaker, is whether it is within the standing orders for Mr Smyth to speak to a motion which is not yet before the Assembly.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: My ruling on that would be that Mr Smyth, or any other member, is right now entitled to speak to support their case on why standing orders can be suspended. I think it is quite appropriate for Mr Smyth in this case to speak to the matter which caused this chain of events to commence. So no point of order arises. I call Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I can understand their embarrassment in wanting to shut this down, but the people of the ACT and many members in this place for the last two years have been trying to get to this fundamental document. It is a document that is now proven to be flawed on so many things, whether it be business assistance programs, sports grants, the tourism funding, all of which have suffered reversal—not to the extent that they were taken away.

The government has realised its mistake. We were meant to have embedded savings of $100 million through reduction in the public service, yet the public service has grown. We have seen the management—or, indeed, the mismanagement—of community grants. Indeed, particularly of interest to you, Mr Deputy Speaker, is the total mismanagement and misrepresentation of the way in which the emergency services operate. These are fundamental issues and the people of the ACT have a right to understand why their government made decisions.

On the morning of the election in 2004, there was the would-be repeat Chief Minister saying to the people of Canberra, “You have nothing to fear from majority government.” He said that there was nothing to fear. In 2001 he went to the people saying, “We will be more honest, more open, more accountable.” Well, Chief Minister, be more honest, be more open, be more accountable, and release this document. You have denied it to successive groups, through estimates and through committees, over the last two years but here is your chance to rectify that.

The committee did the right thing. Under the leadership of Dr Foskey, the committee wrote and said we would like to see the functional review. Chief Minister, you wrote

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