Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 August 2017) . . Page.. 2808 ..
MR PARTON (Brindabella) (3.59): It is funny that when we start talking about preferential treatment, cronyism, favouritism, mates’ rates and secrets the tone changes over the other side. There are 25 members of this Assembly, who all received quite a substantial primary vote in October last year, which entitled each and every one of us to represent our electorate in this place. And it is a great honour for us all to do that.
What those opposite seem to forget, or do not seem to be able to understand, is that when you are elected to this place you are supposed to represent everyone in your electorate. Indeed, depending on your portfolio responsibilities, you are here to listen to and represent all Canberrans. Canberra is not just one big Labor club. As much as you would like it to be, it is not. How dare you ignore those who do not agree with you. You were not elected just to represent Labor voters. How dare this government go out of its way to punish those who have dared to stand up against it. I think it is disgraceful.
The front bench opposite us is populated by a number of members who have long been a part of this arrogant, power hungry and condescending government. Although they may shake their heads and scoff at what I am saying, I know that some of the newer members—members who are still awake, unlike Mr Pettersson, who is catching some zeds—who have not yet been poisoned by this machine know in their hearts that so much of what I am saying is true. But raging against the machine is just a bit too hard for them at this stage.
This is a government that believes it can get away with anything. They keep on telling us that their election victory has given them a mandate to do whatever they like. What a disgraceful act to steal the community facility zones from the suburbs of Wright, Holder, Mawson and Chapman, armed with a sneaky little technical amendment to the planning act. We have all seen the shameful public consultation, or lack thereof, in that space.
I am still gobsmacked that our Chief Minister has the gall to come out and publicly declare that he refuses to deal with the peak body representing the vast bulk of our community clubs. We certainly were not expecting that ClubsACT would help them to write any tax policy, but they should be consulted. Instead they are going to get their trade union buddies to set up a pretend clubs group and make sure they look after them while ignoring the rest of Canberra’s clubs, all the while throwing barbs and insults at this legitimate peak body for daring to step out of line.
The regulatory services minister made a masterful maiden speech in which he promised to include everyone. He promised he was going to listen to each and every voice, but in his apprenticeship as a minister he is not courageous enough to stand up to the Chief Minister and say, “Excuse me, Mr Barr, maybe this isn’t the way to deal with this.” “Yes, Chief Minister. Of course, Chief Minister. Whatever you say, Chief Minister. If you don’t want me to even speak to ClubsACT, I’ll stand in line with you, Chief Minister.” This is how school bullies operate, and I think school bullies must be stopped.