Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 August 2008) . . Page.. 2960 ..
around the world because of what happened in the ACT. But it has been largely ignored and abandoned by the Stanhope government. That is good investment in the future, Ms Porter! That is the way that you build sustainable cities! You forget about things like that! They are successful programs that have been copied around the world. “We will ignore it. We make no decisions. We make no hard decisions, certainly. We do not invest in it. We just ignore it. We talk about it but we have no commitment to building a better city environmentally and a stronger community with environmental credentials.” Then you discovered it last year; you just discovered it.
We have Weathering the Change, a wally of a document. Goodness me! It proposes weaker targets, in longer time frames and at greater cost than what I proposed as the minister responsible back in 2000. That is an investment! That really is investment! Wait longer; let things get worse; spend more to achieve less! Explain that logic to the community—about how this government is investing in the community. They know you for what you are. They understand. They will make a decision come October.
The list of things that this government has failed to look at is long and honourable. I am sure that Mr Pratt might mention graffiti—how investing in a graffiti-free environment has beautified the ACT. I am sure that somebody will mention taxis and how this government has invested in proper infrastructure and a system that certainly makes the taxi system work better here!
In terms of volunteers, I can only come back to the government’s investment in members of the Rural Fire Service who, last week or the week before, were absolutely insulted to be told that they had two weeks in which to consult and offer their comments on the business plan put forward by the commissioner, Gregor Manson, so that the government could implement what it wanted to do before the start of the fire season. Total arrogance. Total disregard for volunteers. In particular, total disregard for volunteers who regularly put their lives on the line in front of bushfires, protecting this community—to be given two weeks notice in which to make comments about things that have dramatic impacts on their lives. That is a real investment in building a better city and a stronger community, an absolute investment!
It goes along with the aborted FireLink project. Millions of dollars were spent. On one hand we know that there were upgrades and things that could have been done to assist the system, but it was thrown from the moving train because Mr Corbell was divesting himself of all of Mr Hargreaves’s failures. On top of that, we can add the ESA headquarters move to Fairbairn. Now, there is a good investment! You sign a lease so that you can rent buildings so that you do not move anybody there so that the few staff that actually get stationed there get a transfer back—(Time expired.)
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (3.48): Mr Speaker, this is an interesting topic because I think it really looks at how you interpret a lot of these terms that Ms Porter has used. “The importance of government investment” is fairly straight forward. But “in building a better city” I think is one area that we need to tease out a bit more. The other term used relates to “a stronger community” and finally “for all Canberrans”.
Because we have discussed many MPIs rather like this—most of the ones put out by the government are of this nature—I would like to take a slightly different approach to