Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 15 Hansard (Wednesday, 9 December 2009) . . Page.. 5614 ..
But when it comes to those opposite, I still have much to learn. I am yet to learn what their policy is on childcare, disability services or providing housing to our needy. As I have already mentioned in question time today, I have been extremely flattered to have received so much attention from the Liberals over the last three sitting weeks. To have received over 70 questions in the space of just eight sitting days has made me feel quite special. This is against around 14 questions between February and October 2009 and around 29 between February 2008 and August. It also makes me wonder, though: is this the start of a new approach by the Liberals? I have hope, but not a lot of confidence.
The shadow minister is so dedicated to the young people of Canberra that he spent about 10 minutes in the annual report hearings last Friday! In that precious time when he was there, did he ask about investing in or supporting our young Canberrans? No.
Mr Coe: How did you go with the parole question, Joy?
MS BURCH: He had one question, and that was around locking up our young people.
Mr Coe: How did you go with the parole question? Do you know what parole is?
MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, that is enough, thank you.
MS BURCH: It was around sentencing and parole. Perhaps he left early to go and talk to his WA counterparts who were so keen on ruining the lives of young people through their name and shame website.
Then we have Mr Smyth. Let me recap quickly on his housing policy. When Mr Smyth was minister for housing, he cut 1,000 housing properties from Housing ACT—1,000 housing units. Brendan Smyth is known as T-1000, the public housing terminator. Perhaps that is also his maintenance policy: just get rid of public housing; then we do not have to worry about the repairs or the people.
Another policy treasure from Mr Smyth was when he sold the Narrabundah long-stay caravan park. The selling price? One dollar. It is a nice round figure, I suppose—an easy figure to manage and keep track of. And think of the money that those opposite could raise if they were in government again. Sell a bit of this; sell a bit of that; expand our base by a dollar a go.
The Canberrans in public housing that I have spoken to live in fear of the day that the opposition ever get back into government—particularly Mr Smyth, whose policy framework was to gut 1,000 houses out of our public housing stock in one year. Just imagine if they got into government yet again. It would be the Terminator versus Mr Top Spot for the leadership of that conservative gaggle across the chamber. It would be like the good old days—compiling dirt files on each other, smearing each other in the Canberra Times. But how you must worry about the competition. Mr Top Spot is so in touch with the issues that Canberrans care about—health, disability, support services, dealing with climate change—that he used question time to ask about the Al Grassby statue, a statue of a man who was extolled by Mr Smyth and others in the Liberal Party.