Page 144 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012

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Is Mr Barr saying that he does not know? Is it because the government do not know; they do not know what your rates are going to be?

The point is that you have either got an incompetent Treasurer who is unaware of what the impact on rates is going to be and he has just embarked on a crusade without having done the sums, or—the more likely scenario—he knows exactly what the impact on rates will be, because we have seen it in the Quinlan review, and he just does not want to release it to the public. So I would say to the crossbench member of the executive: what is he afraid of? Let us put that information there. Why hide it? Let us put it out there. If he thinks that it is all the information that has been made available, well and good. Why not support Mr Smyth’s amendment so that we get to the bottom of what has happened and we get the information?

I think the reason is that the crossbench member of the executive has got a lot of, shall we say, trinkets—a lot of embellishments to his office, a lot of prestige, a lot of benefits from being a minister. He has essentially sold his soul as a Green. The party have sold out. We saw this in the last Assembly: at the beginning in 2008 they made lots of statements about being independent of the Labor Party, but increasingly we saw over the four years a move from where there was genuine debate in the chamber, where there were genuinely three parties, to a point at the end in 2012 where there were only two parties. We said it regularly, and we were proved by the vote and the debate that there were two parties. We saw the result of that. The Greens lost 75 per cent of their members. They were all but wiped out and, instead of heeding that message, what Mr Rattenbury has done is get closer to government.

So I would say to the crossbench member of the executive: take this opportunity to show that you are a crossbench member of the executive or, I think it would be reasonable to say, do not expect us to treat you that way. If you are going to vote with the government at every step, if you are just going to back up the government’s argument at every step, it is quite clear, as Mr Seselja has said, that you are in a coalition, and do not expect us to say that there is a Greens party and there is a Labor Party, because there is not; there is simply a Labor-Greens coalition, and that is the evidence. All you are doing in this chamber as a crossbench member of the executive, as you call yourself, is reinforcing the evidence that we have already seen.

So I commend Mr Smyth’s amendment to the Assembly. We have seen today two things: the fact that the government is hiding the truth from the community and that the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, who is part of this government, is simply a member of this government. Those are the two things that come out of this, and it is disappointing to the community but I think it reinforces not only the motion that has been put forward to this chamber by Mr Seselja but also what this election was fought on. And it probably emphasises why the Liberal Party got such a good vote.

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