Page 128 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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means those who cannot afford it should pay less and those who can should pay their fair share. So those who cannot afford it will pay less and those who can should pay their fair share.

In thinking about cost of living pressures, it was interesting to hear the Leader of the Opposition raise the issue of compulsory third party insurance. It is worth noting that again the Canberra Liberals voted against a meaningful reform of that particular scheme that would have seen premiums reduced for Canberra motorists. But, no, doing the bidding of the Law Society and putting the interests of lawyers ahead of the interests of Canberra motorists, they voted down another important reform.

If you are serious about cost of living issues, you will support reform of third-party insurance that will ensure that there is competition in the marketplace and that downward pressure is put on premiums. In relation to electricity, it is interesting to note the price differential that there is between the average Canberra household and the average household across the border in Queanbeyan. It is $1,000 a year cheaper. It is $1,000 a year cheaper in the ACT than the equivalent household in Queanbeyan. That is an important point to make. The arrangements that are in place in the ACT save the average Canberra household $1,000 a year.

The Leader of the Opposition might scoff at that $1,000 a year saving, but for Canberra households that is significant, very significant, and is something that should be supported. The government will not be supporting the Leader of the Opposition’s motion. He can continue to re-run the same tired arguments that failed him in the 2012 election, the same tired arguments that failed him in the 2008 election, and he will continue to sit miserably in that chair as opposition leader for as long as he serves in this parliament.

MADAM SPEAKER: The question is that Mr Seselja’s motion be agreed to. Before I give you the call, Mr Smyth, in the spirit of how I would like to see this chamber run, I would like to draw members’ attention to the rules about offensive and disorderly language and perhaps also to the pages in the Companion.

There have been a couple of occasions in this debate already this morning where there have been things that go fairly close to accusing people of being fast and loose with the truth. Accusations of people being liars are entirely disorderly and as you come closer and closer to those accusations I will take a very dim view of that in particular.

I am putting people on notice now that the sorts of words like “this is a fact that someone has been struggling with for a very long time”, whilst not particularly offensive, perhaps in a context may be considered offensive. I will take a very dim view of accusations against people’s character along the lines that they are liars. I will just put that out there. And here ends the lesson for the morning.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.33): Madam Speaker, it is interesting that one of the chief bulwarks of the government before the election who said, “No, the Canberra Liberals’ triple your rates campaign is wrong,” has now come out after the election and said that there will be many losers and few winners in the government’s property

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