Page 2460 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 9 August 2016
invite the federal government to participate—to look at not just West Basin but the entirety of Lake Burley Griffin and its future. It is the jewel in the crown, Madam Deputy Speaker. It is a special place. I have no doubt that there are enhancements that can be made on its foreshore and also in the utilisation of the lake that are important, but piecemeal selling off of land to pay for trams and other projects is not the way to go.
Another aspect that is worth noting at this point is the Chief Minister’s signing of the memorandum of understanding with UnionsACT. That has been litigated extensively in this place. It is a document that is illustrative of this government being so beholden, as it is, to the CFMEU and a number of other unions that it is reflected in what we are seeing now: the advertising campaign, the scare campaign that is being run. There is no doubt that there is a very tight correlation between this government, the unions, gambling assets and money.
There is a flow, between particularly the CFMEU and the Labor Party, of money through gambling assets and MOUs being signed, television ads being run, donations being made, that others have described as a smell—and that it is. No doubt Mr Wall will have more to say about that issue in relation to either this line item or others.
A range of other issues within this portfolio area are of concern. There is what has happened with the Brumbies, again subject to extensive questioning in this place, with the Chief Minister signing a $7.5 million waiver of a lease variation with the Brumbies. That matter is currently under investigation by the Australian Federal Police and is before the court.
Mr Barr: Not the signing of a waiver.
MR HANSON: The whole deal, the whole matter. The whole matter is interconnected. Mr Barr interjects, but the reality is that the property deal which involved a waiver of lease variation and consequential sale of that asset and the then move to the University of Canberra is being investigated following concerns that were raised.
There are other land deals that are also under scrutiny by people, including the Auditor-General. Mr Barr may wish to defend them, but there is a process in place, and others in the community are not taking this so lightly. Again, it has gone to the smell around this government. These are not my words; these are words being used by many in the community to describe this government—in the Canberra Times, in the CityNews and by members of our business community.
Let me turn to issues within Treasury. At the outset it is worth putting on record the failure in the management of this budget by this Treasurer. Mr Barr is famous now for promising surpluses that never appear. They are illusionary. Every year he promises a surplus; then, when the time comes, he delivers a deficit. The promise is always just beyond the outyears. Again this year we have seen the promise of a surplus. We know that if this government remains we will never see a surplus under Mr Barr. We just need to look at his track record. We just need to look at his history and his desire to spend enormous sums of money on light rail.