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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 6 December 2011) . . Page.. 5742 ..

future route design. This means starting the conversation now, not later. Again, it means speaking with a strong and potentially more powerful regional voice.

As we formalise a work program for our agencies and directorates, there may well be resource implications. Costs that cannot be project managed will doubtless be considered through the annual budget process. But there will also be opportunities available to us as a region, through commonwealth regional development programs. We will be exploring those avenues, too, in partnership with our regional neighbours.

I strongly believe that our future as a city cannot be properly envisaged without an acknowledgement of our broader regional role and identity. My vision for Canberra does not stop at the end of Canberra Avenue, at the end of Northbourne Avenue or, indeed, a few miles down the Hume Highway. As a government, we preside over a city that plays an important role in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australians from beyond our borders.

Mr Seselja interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Seselja, we were going pretty well before you turned up and started your rude interjections, as usual.

Last week’s signing of the MOU with Premier O’Farrell signals the start of a new area of mature and productive collaboration of a kind that has never been attempted before. I look forward to reporting to the Assembly early next year on the work programs supporting the ACT-New South Wales MOU on regional collaboration. I look forward to the support of the Assembly as we enlarge our vision of who we are and what we can be.

In response to Mr Smyth’s very short contribution to this MPI, let me say that I have not worked out why he could only manage a couple of minutes; it is very unlike Mr Smyth. I noticed that he was going on about the utilities tax. We await with eager anticipation the announcement that the Liberals do not support that and will be repealing it, or at least attempting to repeal it. In relation to payroll tax, as Mr Smyth would know, harmonisation across the New South Wales and ACT borders would involve many businesses in the ACT paying payroll tax when they are currently exempt. I do not think it was fair of those opposite to throw those in as a couple of quips in the usual attempt to beat up on the government without any plans or ideas of their own, as usual.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne): It seems the matter has expired.

Planning and Building Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 (No 2)

Debate resumed from 17 November 2011, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.36): I do not know what has gotten under the Chief Minister’s skin this afternoon. She does not seem happy.

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