Page 503 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 10 February 2009

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importance in relation to the decision which the Liberal Party in this place have taken to oppose the $42 billion stimulus package and, most particularly, the $350 million that would come directly to the ACT.

The question which the Liberal Party is yet to answer in relation to that, which they do not want to debate today, is: which part of the $350 million do they oppose?

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, about relevance: this is a motion about the behaviour of the Attorney-General on a specific day and a specific number of events. It has nothing to do with the Rudd government’s economic stimulus package. The Chief Minister should be asked to direct his remarks to the issue before the chair.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mrs Dunne. Mr Hanson just gave a long dissertation on motivation for this motion, and it is in order and it is relevant for the Chief Minister to respond in kind.

Mr Seselja: To the point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: I have ruled on the point of order, Mr Seselja, unless you wish to dissent from it. Chief Minister.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. So there is this determination not to be reminded of a decision which the Liberal Party have taken to oppose the $350 million for ACT government and non-government primary schools and the additional $100 million for public housing. But also I think, in the context of this motion about the remand centre and the prison and issues around it, there is a very convenient rewriting of history. I think this motion goes to part of that. The attorney has just drawn attention to these issues.

We go back to the Liberal Party’s history in relation to the remand centre, its attitude to the remand centre and its statement and its attitude to the prison. I have not yet gone back over the last five years, but it would be instructive to do so. I will do this over the next day or so so that we can actually revisit this issue over the next few days.

We go back—and this is as far back as I have got today —to 14 September 2006 , not too far back. Bill Stefaniak, the Leader of the Opposition and shadow Attorney-General, in just one of his comments in relation to the prison, stated in a press release:

While I would be keen to see more offenders being sent to prison, the reality is that the Chief Minister’s vanity-driven so-called ‘human rights’ prison that has already earned the sobriquet, “the Jerrabomberra Hilton”, is just going to be an expensive white elephant.

We start just two years ago. That is as far back as I go. We then go to the then Leader of the Opposition, the now Liberal senator for the ACT, a one-time supporter of the prison. On 7 August—we are now less than 18 months ago; we are back to August 2007—again, from the Leader of the Opposition and shadow Attorney-General we had this press release:

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