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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 26 August 2008) . . Page.. 3615 ..

MR BARR: That is a hypothetical question. I am not in a position to be able to make a comment on that. It depends on the direction in which the case heads.

Municipal services

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to Mr Hargreaves, the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services. Minister, members of the Liberal Party often criticise the ACT government and its public servants for the so-called “look and feel” of the city. It perhaps heads up their campaign. They continually talk down the city, its maintenance and appearance.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: in the past you have ruled that questions need to be about ministerial responsibility and not what members of the opposition or someone in the Canberra Times might say.

MR SPEAKER: When I get to the question, I will be able to make a judgement on it, Mrs Dunne.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, could you please explain to the Assembly what actions the government has taken and how much money it has spent on maintaining the city and its suburbs?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mr Gentleman for his long and abiding interest in the quality of our city. Mr Speaker, the short answer is that I do not think I have enough time to list all the things that the Stanhope government has done to improve the look and feel of the city that we both enjoy and love, but I will attempt to indicate some of them, for the benefit of those opposite, as well as your good self.

The Stanhope Labor government spends $1.535 million annually on maintaining and cleaning our city centre, for example. The Department of Territory and Municipal Services is working in partnership with the newly appointed Canberra CBD Ltd city ranger to improve the look and feel of the city centre, including private properties. Imagine this: a Labor Party working hand-in-glove with the corporate sector to improve the amenity of the city so that business can be conducted successfully. Ooh, that shows a decided failure on the part of those capitalists opposite, doesn’t it?

Mr Smyth: Brian Burke used to do that, didn’t he?

MR HARGREAVES: Ooh, we don’t like that one; we are getting a bit uncomfortable.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves, direct your comments through the chair please.

MR HARGREAVES: All right, Mr Speaker. Ooh, they are getting really uncomfortable. The new city ranger has two key responsibilities—to liaise with property owners and lessees within the Civic precinct to improve the look of the city, and to work closely with TAMS to facilitate city improvements. To this end, officers from ACT Parks—

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