Page 411 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 17 February 2015

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They will be paying in their additional parking fees; they also will be paying through their rates, taxes, fees and charges for the government to prop up the tram service, even if they are not actually using it. This is just another example of Labor-Greens policies hurting the family budget.

At the end of the day, this government continually hit household budgets, but they do it just so that they can prop up their grandiose schemes. Worryingly, this trend will only continue as the deficit increases and debt escalates. Either the government increase rates and charges or they cut services that the majority of Canberrans need. The alternative is to plunge the territory budget into further disrepair, with larger deficits and greater debt. This ensures that future governments will be limited in their options.

That is, in effect, what this government is doing by way of light rail and many of its other projects. They are creating an intergenerational burden on future Canberra residents. By tying Canberrans to light rail through a huge availability payment model, perhaps for 20 or 30 years, the Chief Minister, Minister Corbell and Minister Rattenbury are putting their own pet project, their own personal legacy, ahead of the financial freedom of generations of Canberrans. We grasp the enormity of that. We grasp just how serious it is to shackle generations of Canberrans to Mr Barr’s, Mr Corbell’s and Mr Rattenbury’s idea of a tram.

We believe that governments should live within their means. We do not believe governments should get carried away with pet projects or get carried away with the legacy of individual politicians. That is exactly what we have here—a situation whereby the selfishness of some is getting in the way of the prosperity of many. The Canberra Liberals will continue to do all that we can to minimise the impact of ACT government decisions on household budgets. It is for that reason that I brought the matter before the Assembly today as a matter of public importance.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Urban Renewal and Minister for Tourism and Events) (3.52): I thank Mr Coe for raising household budgets as an issue today. As a starting point for his party, he might like to turn to his colleagues to discuss how putting a tax on every visit to the GP assists the household budget and how jacking up university fees for every Canberra student impacts on the household budget. How does kicking people off the dole help the household budget? How does cutting pensions help the household budget? How does making derisory pay offers to ACT-based commonwealth public servants help household budgets? How does making derisory pay offers to defence personnel who live in the ACT help household budgets?

How do the Liberal Party help household budgets? They throw people out of work. They cut pensions. They throw people off the dole. They put a tax on GP visits. They triple—

Mr Coe: Point of order.

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lawder): Point of order, Mr Coe.

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