Page 2684 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009

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Going back to June last year: “The scheme is short-sighted.” In the same release—and this is language that I know members of the estimates committee are familiar with—he says that the government is, through this scheme, “gouging first homebuyers”. That is an issue that we know the Liberal Party is very familiar with—gouging first homebuyers. You would think that “gouging” was a word that had never passed the Liberal Party’s lips, wouldn’t you? Then last year, on 25 September: “Land rent is flawed and totally discredited.” We go to 21 February this year: “The scheme has collapsed in chaos. It has become apparent there is not a single financial institution in Australia that will back this scheme. It was bound to fail.” Two days later, on 23 February: “This time land rent is a sham, a cynical grab, a scheme flawed with absolutely no backers.”

Just a day later, with symptoms of obsession which we have seen in relation to this issue becoming absolutely patently, uncomfortably and embarrassingly the opposite to those that have had to observe it, the scheme is again described as “flawed, failed, misguided”. We had a little breather between February and April. On 14 April: “The government has swindled first homebuyers.” Last month he returns to the fray, accusing me of knowing that the land rent scheme could not and would not ever be supported. As late as this month he is on the job again. Just this month he says, “It is obvious that the finance industry will never support this scheme.”

Mr Speaker, today is a very embarrassing day for Mr Seselja: “The finance industry will never ever support this scheme.” It reveals him as completely bereft of ideas, let alone a plan. We have seen it most particularly in relation to this budget and exposed for all the world to see. Mr Seselja—Mr Flim-Flam, Mr Waddle—has no plan. The only plan is a million dollars of cuts for the election. There are no plans. There is no substitute budget plan and no plan for housing affordability. There is no plan at all. It is opposition for opposition’s sake. We see it there displayed for all the world to see. He seeks to cover his embarrassment not by apologising and standing up and saying, “I was wrong. One of the biggest credit unions in Australia will back this scheme.”

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, a supplementary question?

MS PORTER: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, are there any further details or information that you are able to share with the Assembly?

MR STANHOPE: There is a range of other commentary and other comments in relation to the scheme that is available, and I think, having put the Leader of the Opposition’s comments, it is relevant that we look at some of the comments and commentary of others in relation to this.

Mrs Dunne: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Ms Porter specifically asked the Chief Minister for detail and he opened his foray into answering the question by saying, “There is lots of other commentary.” I would be really happy to hear Ms Porter’s question answered. We would like to hear the detail of the scheme.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter, can we have your question again, please?

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