Page 3044 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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how members opposite cannot support this budget. I urge them to come to their senses and do so.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (5.24), in reply: Mr Assistant Speaker, I think Mr Hanson has a problem. In fact, I think he has several problems. He criticises praise for a job well done. This is an extraordinary style for someone who wants to call himself the alternative leader. He does not seem to understand what it means to get the best out of people—that it is praise and encouragement. As a great Liberal politician once said, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Well, Mr Hanson just dipped out the acid, threw on the vinegar and ridiculed. But what did he ridicule? Not the motion; he did not even address the motion. What he wanted to talk about was to go back to last week. He jumped in his time machine and wanted to go back to last week to redebate and work over the dissenting report for the estimates committee. I think he might have lost track of time here. And, of course, ridicule is one of the lowest forms of debating tactic because it does not actually address the substance of what is being debated. It just pokes fun. It mocks, and it takes away the credibility that Mr Hanson wishes to aspire to.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Doszpot): Dr Bourke, this is a summing up. You are entitled to make comments along those lines, but you are supposed to be summing up at the moment, concluding your motion. Thank you.

DR BOURKE: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. I am merely rebutting the arguments that were put forward by Mr Hanson. I have to go into them in some detail because he spent his entire allocated time ridiculing a report that was tabled last week without dealing with anything in the substantive motion. I need to draw that to the house’s attention, emphasise it and hammer those points home, which is what I am going to do.

So, coming back to Mr Hanson’s attack on a report that was tabled last week, there was no substantive argument; it was all about ridicule. At the level of an undergraduate? No. It was high school debating style. The errors in the dissenting report have already been dealt with by me when I previously raised the resourcing of non-executive MLAs, but we see this kind of repetition in other areas. As Ms Burch pointed out recently, it happened with QONS 188, 189 and 190—the same question repeated three times.

I thank my Labor colleagues who came in here today to support this motion. Ms Berry talked about the targeted assistance strategy, in particular, the help for people to make infringement payments so that they can get their drivers licences back. It is critical for people on low incomes to have their drivers licences so they can get around.

Mr Barr talked about our economy—the economic strengths of the ACT. Just two fantastic statistics that he brought out for our knowledge were that we have the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the second highest employment participation rate. These are fantastic statistics. They emphasise the economic strengths of the ACT. He also talked about the tax reform that has been implemented, a progressive tax reform helping those most in need.

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