Page 635 - Week 02 - Thursday, 14 February 2013

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comes to education for their children, delivered through properly funding the non-government school sector. The one overarching promise that came attached to these and every other promise the Canberra Liberals made to the people of Canberra last year is that it would all be delivered on time and on budget.

The majority of Canberra voters are disappointed that the plan I have outlined will not be delivered by this Assembly. Instead, they will continue to be the subject of this government’s far left agenda, poor service delivery and utter contempt for the true needs of residents of the ACT.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.10): I would like to thank Ms Porter for raising this issue today. Certainly the ACT Greens come into this Assembly with a clear sense of purpose to deliver on a green and progressive agenda that will deliver benefits to the whole Canberra community. Mr Hanson might think that that is an extreme agenda but I believe that a green and progressive agenda is one that delivers environmental benefit and socially just policy which supports and enables the most vulnerable in our community and does so with an eye to the future and the challenges that the future will bring us.

The Greens believe that identifying future challenges is essential to good policy development. We do not shy away from those challenges, even when implementing the policies is controversial and sometimes inconvenient for some. We have our eye on policies that will maximise benefits for the majority and the longer term, including our future generations.

Indeed I think Mr Hanson and some of his colleagues will find that this agenda is widely embraced by the community. It is convenient political rhetoric to pretend that it is somehow extreme to ban plastic bags or to provide better public transport or to allow two people who love each other to get married or to take steps to address and ready ourselves for climate change. The reality is that these issues have wide support in the community and it is not the Greens that are out of touch. As the sole representative of the Greens in the Assembly this term, I am committed to working with the government and as part of government to realise the policy objectives that I believe will make this city a better place for all Canberrans.

Today I would like to spend some time talking about the key items that the Greens have included in the ALP-Greens parliamentary agreement, an agreement that now sits at the core of the government’s agenda for this term of government. The agreement entails 66 policy items, all of which are important, all of which I will be working on to ensure are implemented in the best possible way.

The parliamentary agreement will mean that we will have Canberra’s first light rail tracks laid by 2016 as well as a Canberra-wide light rail network master plan for the ongoing rollout of a light rail network. As I have outlined many times before, light rail will bring enormous benefits to Canberra. This was a project that was talked about for years and years but at last, through the parliamentary agreement, we have a commitment to taking action and we have a real opportunity to grasp this for Canberra.

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