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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 11 February 2015) . . Page.. 125 ..

these changes. Earlier in the debate today someone said, “What if, in another year and a half’s time, there is a new minister or a change of government?” We need to try and think about the longer term efficiencies and the efficacy of these changes.

I have my own set of issues about the much-vaunted border force, which is what this merger is all about, and the tone and approach of the federal government to matters in immigration, but I think they are matters for another time and another place.

I would like to thank Dr Bourke for bringing this matter to the Assembly. I was a little disappointed in the discussion today. The actual motion is a good motion. It is an opportunity for this Assembly to collectively say to the federal government, “We are concerned about this. It will have an impact on our city that we need you to take into account.” I thought the motion was framed quite well in that regard.

Welcome back to the floor, Mrs Dunne. I had forgotten your style of contribution to the debate. I think there has been a sharp reminder this morning. But it was a shame that the discussion took the tone that it did. The fact that Mrs Dunne has already written is a positive thing. I do not think that needs to preclude this Assembly also making a statement. So the proverbial contest of who wrote first and when is perhaps not the key issue today. The key issue is that this Assembly has the opportunity, through this motion, to unanimously say to the federal government, “We’re very concerned about this. We want you to think about the implications for this city,” and not just the internal government thoughts that are going on around this move, led by the head of the department or whoever is making these decisions.

I am very happy to support this motion today. I understand the Labor Party will not be supporting the amendment. We need to try and find a way through. Paragraph (1)(a) of Dr Bourke’s motion seems to be a point of tension for the Liberal Party. It says:

… the significant investment made by the ACT Government into Belconnen over many years …

That, presumably, could include the era back in 1998 to 2001, which included a Liberal government. I think it is framed in a way that we can probably all live with, so I will be voting for the motion as moved.

MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.48): I support Mrs Dunne’s amendment; I think it is a very good amendment. I was going to say I was surprised, but I suppose I am not, because Mr Rattenbury has said, “The Labor Party is doing this; therefore, that’s what I’ll do.” He pretty much said that in his speech. But Labor and the Greens are going to vote against a line that says:

… declares its wish for Commonwealth Government departments to maintain their central offices in Canberra as a first priority …

Labor and the Greens are going to vote against this Assembly making the point to the federal government that as a bipartisan Assembly we want the federal government to maintain government offices in Canberra. That is pretty extraordinary. That is what they are voting against because they are so churlish that they want some line in there that says, “Praise us about what we’ve done for Belconnen.”

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