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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 03 Hansard (Thursday, 28 February 2013) . . Page.. 926 ..

We even had Mr Hargreaves asking questions in the Assembly about it. He asked a question about this back on 29 March 2000. Kate Carnell said:

The regional leaders forum is an initiative of this Government. We started it very shortly after we were first elected. I have to say that it is one of the most successful forums that exist. In fact, in looking at outcomes from that forum, we were the first entity or region in Australia to have a regional environment report, which other parts of Australia are now looking at putting in place.

There was even a submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the rural and regional impacts of competition policy by the Australian capital leaders forum. That was in December 1998 and it was put together by Kate Carnell’s government.

Madam Speaker, a Liberal government did all this before. It was one of the first things that the Kate Carnell government did. It established it and got it working. It was successful; it was producing things. Labor got into government and got rid of it all. For the last 12 years they have been doing little, if anything, when it comes to regional development.

The Chief Minister has decided that she needs a bit of a vision and she has gone shopping around for one. Jon Stanhope had his human rights agenda and I think what has happened is that Katy Gallagher has decided, “Well, I need a vision. What’s my vision going to be?” She has probably looked back through some good ideas that were around way back when the Canberra Liberals were last in and has thought, “Look what Kate Carnell did. That was pretty cool. That worked. That was successful. That achieved outcomes. I know that we wrecked it. I know that we dismantled it. I know that we have done nothing for 12 years, but why don’t we go back to what Kate did? It worked well then. Why don’t we go back and establish that?”

She sat in her office and went, “Right, I will do this. We’ll have this vision. I’ll set myself up with a title. We’ll have a title and I will become the minister for regional development or something and have this portfolio.” She sat there at her desk going, “Right, now what do I do?” There was a bunch of blank faces looking around. She probably looked through what Kate Carnell did and thought, “I know who can give me some ideas because I don’t have any. Let’s ask the opposition. Let’s ask the Canberra Liberals who did this successfully, who rolled it out successfully. Who do I know? I’ll tell you what, Brendan. Brendan was around back in those days. He might give me some ideas. I don’t have any of my own.”

This is the business of government, or it should be. It certainly was under Kate Carnell. It has not been under Jon Stanhope and Katy Gallagher. This is the business of government. “I don’t know what I’m doing; I don’t really understand this. It sounds good. It sounds like I’ve got a vision. Let’s ask someone that might know. Let’s set up a committee because I know they’ll put Brendan on it because he does have the enthusiasm for this. He has got the experience as a government minister implementing this. We’ll get Brendan to tell us what this vision really means so we’ll set up a committee.”

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