Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 19 February 2015) . . Page.. 630 ..

Urban renewal will remain a key priority for the government. Light rail is a catalyst to help make it happen. It is vital that we achieve more sustainable growth for our city to ensure that it remains one of the most livable in the world. I thank Ms Porter for bringing this matter forward today.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.07): Simon Anholt, the world expert on places, identity, image and reputation, says that to develop and keep your image, you must have three elements: strategy, substance and symbolic action. He has a number of equations in his book where he says that if you have a deficit of one, it will lead to a certain outcome. Some of those outcomes are anonymity, incoherence, spin or propaganda.

There is one that probably applies most to the ACT over the last 14 years under this Labor government. Remember, members, that today we are discussing the importance of urban renewal in the context of what has occurred over the last decade or so. This has just been a government of announcements. Call it symbolic action. But what they have genuinely lacked is substance and strategy. According to Mr Anholt, that equation gives you failure. I think the motion today says that this government has failed to deliver urban renewal over the last decade.

It is interesting that Mr Corbell said, “Look, we have spent $1.2 billion on roads in the last decade. We need to change.” Mr Corbell, your government was in charge of that $1.2 billion of roads expenditure. So if you are now admitting that you got it wrong, it shows failure at a catastrophic level. But the problem before you is that there is not a clear vision for this city from this government.

We have got lots of glib lines and cliches: “transformational” did not last long; “renewal” has come in and we will see how long it lasts; the Chief Minister talks of “brilliant possibilities”. But what they do not talk about is how they deliver it. You only need to go to the plans that the government has put in place. Let us go to Mr Corbell’s “City Hill … a concept for the future”. There are some 16 major initiatives inside London Circuit, none of them delivered. Nine years later, none of them delivered. That is the record of this government.

We know they have plans. We have got the city plan; we have got the city to the lake plan; we have got the light rail plan. In respect of the city plan, we heard the former Chief Minister, before she jumped ship, say, “That’s off the agenda because we can’t afford it and city to the lake is off the agenda because we cannot afford it.” They will go ahead with the land sales because this is a government that is addicted to land.

This is because they have not done their job to diversify the ACT economy. I look forward to the minister’s statement about diversifying the economy that will come on later this afternoon. The reality is that the job has not been done because this government refuses to listen to the business community and it does not have a grand vision for where business might take this city.

You only need to look at the issue of the convention centre. What is one thing that will drive urban renewal almost immediately in the city centre? It is a new convention centre. We know that a new convention centre is the preferred project by 54 of the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video