Page 2411 - Week 08 - Thursday, 6 June 2013

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The constant harping about how a change of government will cause uncertainty is causing the uncertainty right now. And the cheap pointscoring from Labor and the Greens is doing the damage right now. I call on this government to cease. I call on you to cease.

Federal Labor is slashing jobs right now and ACT Labor is cutting jobs right now. Services are being cut right now. Andrew Barr has the unmitigated gall to say, “I cannot save the ACT from Tony Abbott.” Well, I say: who will save the ACT from Andrew Barr?

Many Canberrans have compared this budget and the government to the Skywhale and I myself see the parallels. Just as I started by quoting Jon Stanhope, let me now draw on this view of this gift to the Canberra community, this gift from the Gallagher government. This is what Jon Stanhope said:

I just think it's selfish, I think it's self-indulgent … It sort of smacks of arrogance … I think it was a misstep. I think it was politically naive. … I fear that this particular incident, this particular expenditure, this particular piece of public art will come to symbolise the year, and it's divisive …

Jon Stanhope’s message on Skywhale serves equally well as a critique of this budget. It pays lip service to the hardworking majority who, for the most part, want government out of their lives and focused on delivering better local services.

Madam Speaker, it is not what we believe and it is not what we would do. We believe in a better Canberra than the one that this government spends all its time talking down. We believe that Canberra should be a competitive place to do business. We believe in rewards for enterprise and for effort. We believe that Canberra should be a more affordable place to live. We believe in growth. We believe that a government should promote and encourage, not inhibit and over-regulate.

We believe in freedom—freedom of expression, of association and freedom of faith. We believe deeply in something that this government seems to have forgotten in the 12 long years that it has been in power. We believe that Canberra should be the best place in the country to earn a living, to get ahead and to raise a family. That is what we believe. It is something that we will never forget and we will never stop defending.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (3.24): I speak to this budget on behalf of the ACT Greens today, aware that I have participated as a minister in the development of the budget.

As a party, the Greens appreciate that there are challenges that our community faces now that need short-term resolution—maintaining employment and providing day-to-day services. There are also long-term risks ahead of us—climate change, resource depletion, and the building of economies on unsustainable practices. And it is because of this that we are always looking to our budgets, both federal and ACT, to deliver programs and projects that will insulate us against these risks. Because if we do not insulate ourselves against these risks now then, in the future, our daily challenges will

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