Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 10 February 2015) . . Page.. 41 ..
MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (12.13): What we have seen this morning, on the first sitting day of the year, is a desperate and embarrassed political party seeking to do anything to distract the community from their own failings, their own lack of vision, their lack of any agenda for this city in the future, and the fact that their federal colleagues are in complete shambles. That is the modern Liberal Party, and we have just seen it writ large this morning.
Their highest priority for this city is to rake over a series of issues that have been extensively considered by this Assembly in the past. They raised one particular example of a traffic disruption for an important piece of public infrastructure—a traffic disruption that was kept to an absolute minimum. Whilst it is regrettable that there was any disruption at all, it was the least worst outcome. Minister Burch made the correct decision to expedite the works to get them done as quickly as possible, and did take personal responsibility day after day, ringing individual constituents, explaining the rationale behind the decision and working with the relevant ACT government agencies to ensure that the works on that particular project continued for 18 hours a day so that they could be completed many weeks ahead of the original schedule. The minister responded to a set of circumstances and acted appropriately.
Regarding the other principal new matter that the opposition have raised in the debate on this motion today, I have already made extensive comments on the public record in relation to that. I said at the time, and I will repeat it now, that it is difficult in politics to own up to a mistake. But Minister Burch has done that, and shown the strength of her character, which I might add at this point is so much stronger. She is so much better as a representative of her community than anyone opposite. I would have Minister Burch in my team over any member of the opposition; let me assure you of that.
Minister Burch is an individual who works incredibly hard for her community. Yes, she made a mistake, but she has owned up to it. I think the most substantive issue here, aside from all of the politics and all of the cheap personal shots that we get from those opposite because they have no vision and no agenda, is a substantive issue that this Assembly needs to grapple with; that is, what is the appropriate limit for money to be put into a poker machine?
As I said—and I will repeat it—I am not so much interested in the colour of the note; I am interested in what the maximum limit should be. The cabinet did discuss these matters in the context of that debate—that we needed both a change to the regulations in relation to note acceptors and a limit. And the issue is how that is resolved. That is a matter of public record, as I said about 30 times last month. So Sherlock Holmes over here—
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Barr, refer to people by their names.
MR BARR: The shadow treasurer can suggest that there is some new revelation here. No, there is not. It is the government’s intent—and I will foreshadow this today—that