Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 May 2009) . . Page.. 2007 ..
question from a journalist—“Do you have any information in your possession from the freedom of information that is not consistent with this position you are putting to us?”—to say, “No, I don’t.” He did not tell the journalist that he had any information from banks that said “This is looking good,” or “Whilst I can’t give you a definite yes at this stage, we are moving in the right direction with no major impediments.” He did not tell the journalist that he had correspondence that said, “I cannot see that we have any issues with this.” He did not think that the journalist would be interested in that, even after he was asked. Being a good journalist, the journalist asked, “Do you have anything that is not consistent with what you are telling me?” and Mr Seselja said to that journalist, “No, I have nothing.” Talk about mislead!
Of course, later that month we had further correspondence from a leading mortgage insurer:
I have been speaking with the Head of our Legal Department, who has advised this proposal looks promising, although they do have some concerns that need to be addressed prior to moving forward.
“They do have some concerns that need to be addressed prior to moving forward.” We have continued over the entire time of the process to move to address those concerns. We had no reason to believe in advance of the later knowledge of the global financial crisis that this was not a product that the banks and the financial institutions would readily support.
Of course, those industry comments are comments, according to Mr Seselja and the Liberals, that industry had conclusively and categorically rejected the land rent scheme. That is the basis of Mr Seselja’s thesis—it had been conclusively and utterly rejected. You see from these comments withheld from journalists that that is bunkum. It is false; it is not true. Having been misled and having accepted at face value what Mr Seselja was telling them because they thought he was an honourable man, an honest man, a man they could trust, the journalists printed it, they published it, they broadcast it, and they misled the people of Canberra because of Mr Sesleja’s duplicitous behaviour and conduct.
Mr Seselja does not play by the rules of honour. He abuses the Freedom of Information Act. Let us ask ourselves whether he has been honest with the public and with local journalists, or has he used them for his own ends? Has he been as free with journalists as he expects government agencies to be with him? This is not freedom of information; this is freedom to deceive and to manipulate. Mr Seselja has some explaining to do. He needs to explain to those people, who, under a Liberal government, would never, ever be able to dream of buying a home, why he is so intent on misrepresenting and talking down a scheme that offers them the chance to not just dream but to realise the dream.
The truth, of course, is that the Liberals think that there are some people who should not even aspire to homeownership now or ever. The Liberal Party thinks that there are people within our community who do not deserve to own a home. That is the reality, and that is why we have this concentrated attack on this scheme. It is an obsession of Mr Seselja to destroy the land rent scheme. He is quite happy to seize stamp duty