Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2016) . . Page.. 1081 ..
of our city’s higher education sector. That is one contrast I am delighted to have between the government I lead and the alternative Chief Minister. Keep on with your opposition, Mr Hanson; keep it up. You are doing yourself a great disservice. Your party is now firmly branded as the anti-university party, the anti-research and development and the anti-commercialisation party, the party of the past with no ideas for the future growth of the most important sector of the ACT’s economy.
It is the most important non-government sector in the ACT, the largest employers, the areas where we have the greatest comparative advantage over any other Australian city and most other cities in the world. Surely, we should be supporting our higher education sector to grow. That is exactly what this schedule does. It supports our city’s university. I commend it to the Assembly.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.55): I will be supporting the bill as it is currently proposed. I have looked very closely at this, as I did when we considered the issues around the University of Canberra last year. It is quite important that we give the university the ability to innovate, that we give the university the ability to strive for financial sustainability and to be a leading-edge university. It has made enormous progress in recent times. I think the university’s reputation continues to increase, and I have supported these legislative changes over a period of time because I believe they provide a powerful framework for the university to take further steps forward.
I have looked very closely to make sure there are adequate safeguards and that there remains appropriate oversight, from the perspective both of the government and regarding the way in which the university council is able to examine the future of the university. I am happy to support these changes today, and I have also spoken in support of changes that have been made over the last six months or so to the way the university can use its land and the way that it can seek to enter into partnerships.
I cannot miss the opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary comments made by Mr Hanson. Coming from a man who leads a team who specialise in loud interjection, verbal bullying and every other sort of tactic they can think of in this place, for him to stand up here and give a lecture on the way—
Mr Hanson: I am agile, Shane.
MR RATTENBURY: He calls it agility. “Two faced” is now “agile”! That is what he has actually done here. A guy goes out into the community and presents himself as “Mr Charming” and then comes into this place and acts like the sort of bully boy that nobody has ever seen. That is the extraordinary double standard.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Order, members! There is no need to talk across the chamber. Mr Rattenbury, please do not respond.
MR RATTENBURY: That is the extraordinary double standard we have just heard in Mr Hanson’s comments this morning. I invite him to print out a copy of the Hansard speech he just gave and reflect on it, and perhaps personally hand a copy of it to each member of his team.