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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 June 2015) . . Page.. 1918 ..

To see the underlying strength of our economy, you do not just have to take my word for it, Madam Speaker. Members need only look to the recent announcement by QantasLink to base their significant engineering works here in Canberra, the imminent arrival of IKEA, the interest shown in our PPP projects by major Australian and international firms and the interest in land sales shown not only locally but also nationally and internationally to add to the housing supply in Canberra.

Through this budget the territory government is supporting our community, supporting our economy but most importantly planning for the long term. We are all proud of Canberra and this budget builds on that pride.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.30): I will pick up where the Chief Minister left off—talking about planning for the long term. Let’s see the planning for how the government are going to afford what they intend to do as they constantly put their hands into the pockets of the ordinary citizens of the ACT. Dr Bourke said, “Yes, this is a Labor budget.” Well, in that regard he is right—high debt, high deficits and higher taxes. That is Labor’s tradition, that is Labor’s legacy, and we see that tradition continued in this budget. This budget is set on one track, and that is the track of light rail. They cut 60 hospital beds from the subacute facility, but they are going to have light rail. They cannot afford to fund 60 more beds because Mr Rattenbury is in charge, demanding that the light rail be built. The Labor Party is acquiescing, saying that we shall have light rail at the cost of hospital beds. Have no doubt: this is a one-track government.

In many ways this is a budget attempting to clean up the mess Labor has created. This is Mr Barr cleaning up the mess of Ms Gallagher and Mr Stanhope before her—ministers, Chief Ministers and Treasurers he supported. Mr Barr is part of the mess they are cleaning up, as is Mr Corbell. Others have joined the train later on, but they are all on the same train; they are all on this one track because that is all they have. It is a shame that 60 hospital beds are going so we can fund the light rail. That is what it is about. Sixty hospital beds have been cut from the health system so Mr Corbell can have his train. Have no doubt about it: that train will cost taxpayers for a long, long time to come.

We need to look at some of the premises behind that. Yesterday Mr Gentleman was saying we could end up like LA. Imagine LA traffic on Northbourne Avenue and the streets of Canberra. There are almost 20 million people in greater LA. Are you suggesting the ACT will one day have 20 million people? That is delusional. Let us go to the analysis that we will look like Sydney. Sydney is expected to top five million people this year. Our estimates talk about Canberra being 500,000 by 2030—a tenth of Sydney—and yet there is the spectrum. All those cars coming down Northbourne Avenue because those opposite are trying to create the illusion that this is necessary to justify what they have done because they have got the process backwards. They have picked the route, they have picked the style and now it is all about justification.

As I said, this is a one-track budget, and that track includes the inexorable process of tripling people’s rates, increasing car rego, increasing parking fines and the

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