Page 2839 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 13 August 2013

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there are still further questions about this cost-benefit study which the opposition will be investigating.

There are many problems with the light rail project and, in fact, the government’s mismanagement of infrastructure projects across the territory. Who will have confidence in the light rail project, given the recent case studies like Tharwa bridge, the GDE, the Cotter Dam and others?

I do not have confidence in the Treasurer. As the chief financial controller for Canberra’s taxes, he should not be endorsing this reckless approach to the expenditure of over $600 million. The full impact of the light rail project should be included in the budget.

I support Mr Smyth’s motion and urge all in this place who care about financial responsibility to put a stop to this irresponsible management.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (11.33): I rise to support the comments already made by the Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer. The government will not be supporting this motion and this motion should be seen for exactly what it is—an attempt to delay, an attempt to distract and an attempt to spoil. I think we have seen some of that since the election in October and my expectation is that we will see about another 3½ years of it from those on the opposition benches.

We had an almost hysterical speech from the shadow treasurer. One might have presumed there was a TV camera in the chamber—and shock, horror, there was, right behind me. He tried to allege very serious allegations around misconduct in relation to the Financial Management Act. This came from the only surviving member of the only government that has been found to have breached the Financial Management Act. I draw members’ attention to the history involved in that and the history of Mr Smyth’s involvement in that.

Mr Smyth would understand that is a very serious allegation that he has made this morning. He has alleged that all members in this place are going to breach the Financial Management Act should they support this. My challenge to Mr Smyth regarding the allegations he has made about the Treasurer is: go outside and read that speech, Mr Smyth. Go outside and read that speech word for word—that the Treasurer is “breaking the law”—I think those were words you used—and that other members in this place are breaking the law as well. My guess is you will not do it because you know it is not true, but you used the protections of this place in order to make those allegations. We should be better than that. One would assume that allegations like that should not be made frivolously, as they were this morning.

Mr Smyth also makes great noise on issues of openness and transparency. I would say that this bill, out of all the pieces of legislation that come to this place, is the most transparent of all decisions that this place makes in terms of the time allocated to it for scrutiny. I think we have had a month of estimates processes, we have 16 hours—and we can probably add another four hours to that with this motion today—to scrutinise

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