Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 February 2015) . . Page.. 21 ..
opposites are—it accepts the premise that there have been 13 years of neglect. Because why would this government need to renew if it had been doing a good job, if it had been the progressive, wonderful government that it claims? No, Mr Assistant Speaker, Andrew Barr has come in and said, “I don’t like what Katy Gallagher did. I don’t like what Jon Stanhope did. I think that we need to renew. After 13 years of neglect, let’s renew.”
I did not see anything there about the neglect across our health system, the neglect in our economy and the neglect in the urban maintenance in our suburbs. I can tell you that is what I hear and that is what the statistics bear out. There were no words about record levels of taxation under Andrew Barr as the Treasurer. There was nothing about the record levels of rates that are tripling under Andrew Barr as Treasurer. There was nothing about the biggest deficits in ACT history under Andrew Barr. In fact, they are the second largest deficits in Australia and only pipped by one jurisdiction—Western Australia. When you take into account population size, we still have bigger deficits. They are four times the size per capita of the next largest deficits—bigger than New South Wales, bigger than everybody.
There was no word about the pokie machine debacle and the grab for extra money for the Labor Party that was the signature mark at the start, the very first action of the Barr Labor government to try and grab more money for the Labor Party through the pokie machines. There was no word of that, Mr Assistant Speaker.
There was no word about the AIHW report last week and the Productivity Commission report that said that we have the least satisfied patients in the country. Now, that is neglect. There was no word about the longest waiting times in the country, the neglect of 13 years, and there was no word about a health system that is so racked with bullying and a poisonous culture that the obstetrics department is on the verge of losing its accreditation. There was no word on EDs and the hospital being so full that the head of the emergency department said that it is unsafe. There was no word on that, was there?
There was no word about schools being evacuated because of poor maintenance. There was no word on the 14,500 public service jobs cut by federal Labor. Let me say that again, Mr Assistant Speaker: the meat axe that Kevin Rudd took to the federal public service, the 14½ thousand jobs cut by federal Labor. There was no word about that. There was just silence and buzzwords—“renew, renew, renew”. You must think the ACT public are stupid, and they are not. They are not going to be fooled by a buzzword. You tried it with “transform” and “transformational”. Now you are trying it with “renew”. They are not that naive.
There were no words about the debacle on Tharwa Drive. There were no words about the neglect across our suburbs. Go down to our suburbs. Mr Barr specifically mentioned one of his members who spent time in the suburbs. It was worthy of particular note: a member who actually spends time in the suburbs. Hooray! Well done! We know that Mr Barr and Mr Corbell seldom get out from behind their desks in their ivory tower and visit the forgotten suburbs in Canberra where the urban maintenance is appalling. The grass is high, the footpaths are cracked and the shops are running down. No wonder he is using the buzzword of “renewal”. That is the