Page 800 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

When it comes to talking about representing the community, it is worth turning our minds to the events of the weekend. It was interesting to read the numbers in the paper and observe that fewer Liberal Party members participated in the preselection than Greens party members. More than 250 Greens were to participate in our preselection processes, because we do not disenfranchise our members from the voting process. But that is for them to consider down the line.

Quite simply, this is a motion that is all about ideology. It is not about making a practical difference in the lives of Canberrans. In the parking motion yesterday, we saw Mr Hanson start talking about ideology. Again, this morning, it is all about ideology. What I am interested in is delivering green and progressive policies that are good for the future of this city and make a difference to the lives of Canberrans—make their lives easier and insulate them against future price rises coming along, whether they are in the energy or oil sector. These are the sorts of policies my colleagues and I brought to the election and are now seeking to implement during this term of the Assembly.

MR SESELJA (Brindabella) (11.11): I did just want to respond briefly to the Green member’s contribution. It is always unclear to us when he gets his 15 minutes as to whether he is speaking as a member of the government or whether he is speaking as a member of the crossbench. Nonetheless, you would expect that, with a million dollar office, the contribution might be a little more serious than we just heard. I wanted to address a couple of the things that he has touched on there.

He talked about costings. The Greens, of course, made much about costings and having their election promises costed during the election period. I think Mrs Dunne highlighted in discussions that simply having a policy costed by Treasury does not, of course, make it affordable. We have heard those kinds of statements from Shane Rattenbury and others in the past—that somehow if it can be accurately costed therefore you can afford it. This is the economic policy of the Greens in action. Someone could come up with a plan for a very fast train as an ACT election promise. The cost could be in the billions, perhaps tens of billions of dollars. There may be a pretty accurate estimate of what it might be. It might be $10 billion, it might be $20 billion or it might be more. That does not mean that the budget could sustain it. Just because you can name the figure it does not mean that it is a good policy; it does not mean that it is an affordable policy.

I do not think we should allow to stand these nonsense comments that because you have had something costed it is therefore affordable. It needs to fit within the budget and it also needs to be something that is worth while pursuing. The Greens were obsessed with this issue. I recall Ms Hunter focusing significantly in her speech on election night on the fact that they had had their policies costed. I think that was just after she had confidently predicted they would hold four seats. Then she thought they would hold three and I think towards the end she was pretty confident they would hold two. Maybe those sorts of comments should be seen in the same light.

Mr Rattenbury also touched on this one billion versus two billion. I have read Mr Hanson’s motion. It talks about $1 billion that does not include light rail or a

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video