Page 1640 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 12 May 2015

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

The basic view Mr Doszpot has put forward today is not one that can be sustained, and it fails to reflect the fact that we have to deliver important services to our community. In order to achieve that, a government needs to take a certain amount of revenue.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.01): It is always interesting that the Chief Minister does not get up to speak in these debates until everybody else has finished. It clearly indicates some of his problems and the pressure he is feeling regarding his policies.

It is interesting that Mr Rattenbury made the comment about priorities. What we now have is a clear indication of the Labor Party and the Greens’ priorities—that is, a light rail system over and above hospital beds. It is a clear statement, and we had the fumbling from Mr Corbell today. He used all sorts of numbers—140, 166, 200, 215, almost 200, 250. So it is very hard to know what the government’s priority is in regard to hospital beds except for one thing—the train comes first.

I remind members of the last time that this government took such a position, on the Gungahlin Drive extension. It was originally touted at $55 million and some five or six years of construction. Two hundred million dollars and a decade later, it was the fiasco that Mr Corbell delivered. There was an embarrassing backflip one Tuesday night when the government suddenly decided that the one-lane road that they had built was inadequate, so they doubled it just overnight. We saw it with other things like the Alexander Maconochie Centre, which of course the government is now enlarging, because despite Mr Corbell’s claims that it was good for 20 to 25 years, it was full much earlier than that.

So it is about priorities, Mr Rattenbury. That is why the Canberra Liberals moved the amendment to the Financial Management Act to ensure that the government had a cost of living statement in their budget, so that people actually knew what the impact of the government’s fees and charges were on them and their households. In the first year they were well and truly outed when $640 was added to the family budget, courtesy of the Treasurer. Since then they have had to ameliorate it so that they now present a number of scenarios. But, of course, all of the scenarios show an increase.

It is well and good for Mr Rattenbury to stand here and give us the lecture on green-nomics, but he is part of a government whose priority is train before hospital beds and higher fees and charges for all Canberrans. That is what it is all about, and that is what we are paying for. We are paying for Mr Barr’s economic delusion.

We have seen it many times. What we have seen time and again from this Treasurer is extreme partisanship, couched as fiscal policy, supplemented by the Treasurer’s touristic comprehension of economics. At the end of the day, what is he waiting for? It is not for the train to arrive; it is for the federal government to get their spending back in sync with his ambitions. We know that from page 42 of budget paper 3 this year, where he says that the deficits are temporary because the commonwealth will start spending again.

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