Page 2112 - Week 06 - Thursday, 7 May 2009

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endorsement. Consider the concerns spelt out by the council: the way in which the savings of $153 million will be achieved is alarming; there are also likely to be extreme measures to achieve the necessary savings. “Alarming” and “extreme”; these are not my words but those of the Canberra Business Council.

Indeed, let us consider matters relating in this budget to the business sector. The Stanhope-Gallagher government have reduced assistance to business by $3 million or almost 20 per cent. Why? What has the business sector done to deserve this? Yes, there are a few initiatives, and they are welcome, but overall it loses almost $3 million. At a time when we are seeking to save jobs and generate revenue, we attack business.

What is happening to the tourism industry? Well, the same. The Stanhope-Gallagher government have reduced assistance to this industry by $816,000 or by three per cent. Again when we are trying to save jobs, generate business and revenue for the government, they cut the sectors that will provide it.

We can go on and look at things like the sleight of hand that is the provision of $5 million for the new autumn event. I emphasise, again, that this event is completely unnecessary as we already have a great range of activities across the territory. Perhaps the tourism minister should attend some. So what did the budget do with this $5 million? Well, it did not provide the $5 million promised for a new autumn event. No, what have we got? We have got some funds to be spent on tourism marketing, we have got some funds to be spent on developing a new autumn event—or stealing one from another jurisdiction—and some funds to be spent on Floriade and night-time Floriade because they underfunded it last year. Well, if you were anticipating a new autumn event, I am not sure what you will get.

What has happened to emergency services? I welcome the spending on a couple of the new rural fire service facilities for Rivers and Jerrabomberra, but there are concerns. The most run-down and dilapidated facility at Tidbinbilla has been ignored, despite what the minister said in the public accounts meetings in March when I raised the issue. The minister said, “Well, Tidbinbilla will miss out in the third appropriation, but it will be dealt with in the budget context.” Well, they got dealt with, did they not? They got nothing. A dilapidated, run-down building completely ignored. Then, of course, there is the re-announcement of the building of the new headquarters for the Emergency Services Authority for—what?—the third or fourth year in a row now. It is exactly how they operate.

I want to refer to one final matter, and that is the library in Canberra’s south. What a brilliant decision by the Stanhope-Gallagher government to put a library back there after Minister Hargreaves got rid of it. We asked a number of questions of the Treasurer in this budget looking for a plan, looking for a strategy. We were looking for a deficit reduction strategy. I seek an extension of time, Madam Assistant Speaker. (Extension of time not granted.)

Standing and temporary orders—suspension

Motion (by Mr Smyth) put:

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