Page 108 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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resisted at every opportunity has actually grown into something that all of us are proud of, some of us more openly than others. I do not think the Liberal Party have quite come to terms with the fact that the national arboretum will be, if not the major drawcard to Canberra in years to come, certainly a major drawcard to Canberra. It is a magnificent place and for generations to come we will thank the people that took the initiative and got the national arboretum going.

The boundless playground is another excellent example of a lasting legacy project from the centenary, raising funds for a playground that every single Canberra child will use—a state-of-the-art facility—and bring life down to the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, again showing that that partnership between the NCA and the ACT government is perhaps as close as it has ever been and we are able to deliver these partnerships in our centenary year.

I will just finish with this comment briefly. Whilst Mr Smyth made a number of comments about funding for the centenary, I will remind Mr Smyth that perhaps the last contribution he made to the centenary program was to announce a $2 million cut to it as part of their election commitments. So at least there is $2 million more. And you might you sit there and whinge about how much is being invested in the centenary by the commonwealth government, the reality is that the last time—

Mr Smyth: So you are happy with the $6 million?

MS GALLAGHER: You did have that trip overseas to talk about the centenary, and we are still wondering what you actually said, considering you had nothing to do with it. But I did not speak about the $2 million that you were going to cut out of it because you decided that there were savings to be made in the centenary. But now you come here and say you are not sure there is enough money going into the centenary and that there should be more from the commonwealth.

I would say, my final comment, in relation to a Prime Minister that is a friend to this city, all of the outstanding issues are in regard to Constitution Avenue and support for a centenary gift. Some of the issues we have had with the NCA review have been resolved to our satisfaction under Prime Minister Gillard’s watch. Under Prime Minister Gillard’s watch, we have resolved the issues that we had not been able to resolve satisfactorily under Prime Minister Rudd. But we were able to finalise them under Prime Minister Gillard.

I will also say that the biggest threat to this city in its centenary year, the single biggest threat, Mr Smyth—and you know it as well as I—is that your portfolio of economic diversification will not have any answer when Tony Abbott waltzes into this town and tries to cut 20,000 jobs if he is successful in the federal election. No economic diversification strategy will deal with that, and that is the biggest threat to this city in the centenary year. You know it and I know it, and we all have a role to play in supporting this city in its centenary year. We should be talking up the city, despite the fact that we may have differences at times. But the centenary does give us the opportunity to get behind the work that Robyn Archer and her team have done and speak positively about the city. (Time expired.)

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