Page 3898 - Week 10 - Thursday, 27 August 2009

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Motion by Mr Hargreaves proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

Legislative Assembly—members’ vehicles

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (6.24): We were all interested in Mr Stanhope’s remarks during the MPI, where of course he was having a go at certain Liberal members, including me, for our choice of vehicle for our family. I want to spend a bit of time contemplating his attack, which of course is not just an attack on us but is an attack on a lot of families in Canberra who choose certain vehicles in the best interests of their families. Of course, we know families choose their vehicles for a variety of reasons. Safety is always paramount, as is space, performance, price.

A lot of people want to purchase Australian made. Look at the list of six-cylinder vehicles, which is quite extensive, and at the number of Canberrans who drive Falcons, Commodores, some Magnas. Some Territories have been mentioned. Some Camrys are 6-cylinder. There are Landcruisers, Klugers, Patrols, Outlanders. The list goes on—ordinary family cars.

The attitude of this government, as expressed by the Chief Minister today, towards families and towards car users is interesting. We actually see it in a number of ways. We have seen it with discriminatory taxes that they have introduced, which give tax breaks to someone driving a Lexus but not to someone driving an ordinary family car. We have seen it with their attitude to motorists, of course. It is very hostile.

Not only do they have this elitist view of the world where they are critical of families who choose family-sized cars, there is also this hostility to motorists expressed in their cancelling of the V8s; their backflip on their commitment on the dragway; their stated goal of forcing people out of their cars through their parking strategies, which are making it more difficult for families when they have to drive their car into the city or into the town centres, by giving them fewer options to park.

This innate hostility of this government is becoming more and more apparent—this hostility towards ordinary working families in the suburbs. We saw it expressed neatly by the Chief Minister today that they really do not like these people. They do not like them; they do not like the choices that they make for their families; they do not respect these choices; and they are inherently critical of the choices that ordinary Canberra families are making on behalf of their families.

When they choose to purchase a car that they feel is safe, that they feel is reliable, that has the space and the amenity that they need for their family and of course fits within the price—many of course want to purchase an Australian car—we have the Chief Minister, in criticising certain members of the Liberal Party, criticising tens of thousands of Canberrans who make these choices.

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