Page 2533 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 August 2015

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That might be a short-term fix because your ministers are struggling, but in the long term that is no way to structure an executive or a government. We will see, I think and I fear, a continuation of the arrogance and incompetence that we have got used to. Madam Speaker, there is a genuine choice, I believe, between the sort of executive that Mr Barr would lead and the sort of executive that you would see—(Second speaking period taken.)

This is a difference. We will not be directed and dictated to by the CFMEU. We will not be pursuing unaffordable, unviable pet projects like light rail at enormous expense. We will not be imposing taxes on Canberrans to pay for all of this indulgence that we know is so unaffordable. I know that there will be further debate on rates and tax by Mr Smyth and others later, but if I have time I will take the opportunity to read some of the letters I have been getting from people all across this town, in both residential and commercial properties, who are feeling that squeeze.

We will not be behoven for all these minority agendas. We want to make this a place that is a great place for all Canberrans—a great place for everyone to raise a family, make a living and get ahead. Unashamedly, as part of that, we will back business. We know that it is business, particularly small business, that creates the jobs, that creates the strength in our economy. We will not be in the position of this government. This government is endeavouring, almost at every step, to squeeze every single dollar it can and regulate every bit of business in this town until many businesses are either shutting their doors or leaving town.

There is so much to talk about in this budget from this government. I have highlighted some of the most significant points—across the health system, as I have said, in business, in infrastructure. There is much to talk about. There is the ripping of the money out of the police, the people that are very much at the front line, dealing with domestic violence, ice epidemics and so on.

At the outset, let me say very clearly that we are a very different team over here. We see this budget for what it is. As we talk through the detail and we expose the failings in this government, it is always useful to keep two things in mind. Firstly, there is the bigger picture—the direction this government and this Chief Minister are taking Canberra in. But also, we need to keep the reason for us being here in mind. We are here to represent the people of Canberra—all Canberrans. That is the stark message from this budget. Be it the high-end restaurants and the sparkling mineral water that set the attitude, be it the detail in this budget of hundreds of millions of dollars that are going to be put into light rail or be it a tax regime that is punitive and unfair, it is quite clear at the outset that this is a government that is not in touch with the people of Canberra.

Let me be very clear that we will not be supporting this budget. While this government is tripling people’s rates, while this government is spending hundreds of millions on light rail and while we have a Chief Minister with an arrogant attitude taking this government in the wrong direction, this will not be a budget that we will be supporting.

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