Page 3680 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 23 October 2013
through innovation and knowledge-intensive businesses will grow and diversify our economy.
In the 2012-13 budget, the government committed to a 20-year plan to reform the territory’s taxation base, reduce its reliance on inefficient taxes and remove economic speed bumps.
Whilst I have time, I will also mention that I am proud the government is honouring our election commitment to modernise the ageing Belconnen High School. This is one of Belconnen’s oldest and most central high schools, in Hawker. There is $2 million in this budget for stage 1 of that upgrade, which will eventually see new buildings and major refurbishments to renew existing buildings, bringing this school into the 21st century.
The University of Canberra hospital will become another major employer and research centre in north Canberra. It will also fit well with the enhanced services, including more beds, being provided by north Canberra’s major hospital nearby at Calvary. As a result of this budget, design work is underway for a new multistorey car park at Calvary. The location of the hospital at the University of Canberra provides a significant synergy between the teaching of health sciences which is undertaken by the university and the training of those students within the hospital precinct.
Other government investments at the University of Canberra include a loan facility of $24 million to provide additional affordable student accommodation. The government is also investing $13.5 million in the University of Canberra’s sports commons project. This will support community sports and provide opportunities for students studying various sports-related careers, including sports administration, and the grant will assist the Brumbies in their relocation to the sports hub.
In conclusion, this government will continue to deliver on our commitments in the coming year, as we have done through the first year of our term. This government will build on our achievements to make sure Canberra keeps growing, learning and improving and, together, we enjoy the brilliant possibilities that Canberra has to offer.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.20): The motion here today from the government—probably both motions, but this one in particular—emphasises the difference in approach in the Assembly between the government and the opposition. If you look at this motion here today, you will see that it is an exercise in self-congratulation. The speech by Dr Bourke was simply an exercise in patting the government on the back. The motion from Ms Porter later on today is similar.
It would be wise to compare that to the motions that we see from the opposition today. We saw the successful motion from Mr Doszpot which was aimed at restoring the grass in Green Square so that we could see improvements for the businesses there in Green Square—a lot of engagement with the community and work with the community, collaboration that has resulted in a win for the community.
We then saw Mr Wall’s motion, equally arising from engagement with the community and discussions with stakeholders, trying to work in this place to find a resolution that