Page 147 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 28 November 2012
MR SESELJA (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (11.31): This is an issue that is not going to go away, as much as this government would like it to, as much as this coalition government uses words like “this is a tired debate”.” I think we had the Chief Minister in a previous Assembly saying, “This is a silly debate.” It is not a silly debate. The cost of living pressures on Canberra families are real. The government exacerbates them, it seems, at every turn. There has never been a genuine commitment by this government to actually addressing cost of living issues.
We were hearing from people during the campaign in Tuggeranong about why they, as traditional Labor voters, were voting Liberal for the first time at this election. Cost of living was one of the issues that came to the fore. There were two major issues that I was hearing from the people of Tuggeranong. We saw an electorate in the ACT which, on a two-party preferred basis, I think at the last election was 63-37. Yet we saw the Liberal Party win the popular vote. Why was that? Why did so many traditional Labor voters switch their allegiance?
Cost of living was one of the fundamental concerns. The ignorance of this issue by this government will be to the continuing detriment of these people. The people of Lanyon moved en masse with their vote to get rid of this government with an 18 per cent swing. For the people of the Lanyon valley—the southern-most part of Canberra—there were two issues. It was cost of living and it was local services.
It was the neglect of their area and it was the fact that they were being asked to pay more and more and more to the government when the government was giving them nothing in return. They were not getting the services that they deserved, but the government keeps putting its hand out for more and more taxes and ever-increasing taxes. These people are not silly. They have seen their rates increase massively in the last decade and they also are not silly because despite the government’s denials, they can work it out for themselves. They can work out that when the government says they are going to get rid of stamp duty and replace it with rates, they know that they are going to be copping it.
How do we know they are going to be copping it? It is because of the way this coalition voted on this amendment today. We know they are going to cop it because the government continue to hide the detail. If they were not going to cop it, they would not hide the detail. They would put it out there. How many times do we see the government put out projections, long-term projections? They will do it for greenhouse gas emissions, they will do it in all sorts of other areas, but when it comes to what their tax reform will mean to the community they refuse to. It is an abrogation of their responsibility. It is fundamentally dishonest. They have been dishonest since they announced this tax reform because they have pretended that there is no downside. They have pretended—
Ms Gallagher: We were dishonest?
MR SESELJA: Yes, you were. Yes, you were, completely. If you were honest, you would have voted to release the documents. Show us the money. You sat there. You know how we will know? You know how the community will know? They will know