Page 1456 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 4 May 2016
these things because we believe in Canberra. As we can see from last night’s budget, unlike this Barr Labor government, the federal Liberals do not. They have no vision for a strong sustainable economy and future for the territory; nor do those opposite. Unlike them, we will continue to stand up for this city.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.36): What a dismal effort. If you are going to come in here and have one of these hyper-political motions that is just going to be slap and rhetoric trying to conflate federal and ACT issues, at least have a little bit of enthusiasm about it. If you are just going to run political narratives you are best served doing it with some degree of enthusiasm rather than just reading a B-grade speech and stumbling over every second word. Despite the dismal effort, I will try to go to some of the content of what Mr Hinder has said.
Ultimately this is trying to create a scare campaign, and it has fallen a little bit flat. Those opposite love to try to conflate the federal government and the ACT government and create a bit of a scare campaign—it is all doom and gloom. I can imagine how upset they were last night when we saw critique and analysis from people, including the Canberra Times, saying this is good for Canberra and will be good in the long term for Canberra. I refer members to Markus Mannheim’s article in the Canberra Times. I imagine the wind has gone out of the sails a little bit, and that might explain why Mr Hinder was so flat in his delivery.
What we have seen from those opposite is that the critique they have of the Canberra Liberals is seemingly about a budget that was put in by the federal Liberals a number of years ago. What we do not hear from those opposite is a critique of us. What we hear are attempts at smearing people who are no longer prime ministers as some sort of conflated issue to attack us. If that is all you have got, then good luck with that.
The difference fundamentally between us and them, Madam Speaker, is that we will always stand up for Canberra. Despite what Mr Hinder asserts, when a number of cuts were made we did stand up. In actual fact, there was a front page headline in the Canberra Times from me that said, “Not Happy, Tony”. We went out strongly and we said, “Look, we don’t want to see any job cuts, whether they be Liberal or whether they be Labor.”
When Kevin Rudd was saying, “I’m going to take a meat axe to the public service,” where was Mr Barr? Where were the rest of his colleagues? Hiding, Madam Speaker; hiding from the truth. They will try to get anything they can to smear, to attack, to conflate issues, to create uncertainty in the ACT for their own political benefit if they think that is of value. But when the Labor Party federally with their chaotic government was wrecking the Australian budget and ripping jobs out of this town, where was Mr Barr? Hiding under his desk, not saying boo. So let us not have any of this hypocrisy; let us turn to the facts of the matter.
The reality is that the Labor Party’s so-called health and education funding was a cruel illusion. It was never funded. On the eve of the demise of the Rudd-Gillard fiasco, this money was promised in the outyears but it had never been allocated in any budget. Sadly, that money could not be delivered because it had never been funded.