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ACT Legislative Assembly – Half Time…

By John Hargreaves 17 July 2014 26

orange-pieces

During my time in the Legislative Assembly, I came to know what it was that made a good Opposition. I knew, occasionally, what being held to account was about.

I had three years in Opposition in the colourful days 1998 to 2001. They were heady days and often heady nights. Passions ran high, tempers flared, personal insults had a certain panache about them. There was indeed colour.

When Labor came to power in 2001, the colour and headiness continued with serious debate, light-hearted banter and good natured insults. The Government was keen, and the Opposition was, although upset at losing the election, determined to get the Treasury benches back.

The 2008 election saw a downward slide in intensity from the Opposition. It was as though they were mostly resigned to Opposition for life.

I had hoped for more colour and intensity since the election in 2012. The community wanted change. They divided the Chamber rather equally, but what has been delivered?

We are now at the half way mark of the current Assembly and I have paused to look at the performance of those representatives, particularly the Opposition. I do so because, Governments are judged largely on the performance of the Ministers and Government backbenchers hardly get an opportunity to shine.

Where have the Opposition been? Where is the differentiation? Where is the substance of the claim to being an alternative Government? I dunno…maybe they’re waiting for the Government to self-destruct.

The Canberra Liberals website shows 91 media releases from the 8 members in 7 months – an average of 13 per month which is an average of 1.6 per member per month. Not good enough!

I haven’t seen anything from most of the Opposition in the media. So, if I don’t see it, what about the disaffected and disinterested ordinary member of the community.

The next election is too close to make up this gap in credibility. If they want to make a contest of it, they had better move a bit more quickly.

Sometimes I wish that I had remained in the Legislative Assembly. Then I have a cup tea and a good lie down and get over it!

What’s Your opinion?


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ACT Legislative Assembly – Half Time…
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dungfungus 10:42 am 23 Jul 14

Garfield said :

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

miz said :

I recall you, John, as a very active local member during most of your time (though you did not support me and my street as we expected towards the end of your time), however remaining Labor MLAs appear to be getting deaf and blind, as often happens before a defeat. Given the light rail Blind Freddy can see they are making a real mess of things just to keep power. The Libs are going to stroll in at this rate, despite the apparent lack of media releases ….

It’s not only the lack of press releases, it is really about them saying what it is that they would do differently and let the punters choose. Andrew Wall was on the radio today complaining about the trees near the Uriarra solar farm, but he didn’t say what he’d do for renewable energy if he had the reins…

The original complaint about the solar farm was that it’s right on the doorstep of the village, when there are other places it could go in the vicinity where it would be out of sight. The developers response to this has been to propose a thick screen of trees between the farm and the village, ignoring the fact that its a government requirement for the villagers to keep a cleared zone around the village to protect it from bushfires (at their own expense). Andrew was no doubt raising this new problem when you heard him on the radio.

The solution is for the solar farm to be built out of sight of the village – then the residents are happy and there is no need to compromise their bushfire safety with trees inside what is supposed to be a cleared zone. You’ve obviously not been following the story, or you would have already known this.

In regards to the Liberals policy regarding renewable energy, I remember reading an article by Nicole Lawder, their environment spokesperson, that was published in the Canberra Times some months back. It seemed a lot more rational than the government’s policy of increasingly paying out ever bigger subsidies to meet the 90% renewables target. Australia’s target, signed up to by federal Labor, is to reduce carbon emissions by 5-15% by 2020, so why is the local Labor government forcing residents of the ACT to pay for such massive reductions when, due to our higher than average incomes, we’ll already be bearing a higher than average share of national costs?

It’s all about Simon Corbell’s moral vanity and that’s priceless.

Garfield 10:02 am 23 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

miz said :

I recall you, John, as a very active local member during most of your time (though you did not support me and my street as we expected towards the end of your time), however remaining Labor MLAs appear to be getting deaf and blind, as often happens before a defeat. Given the light rail Blind Freddy can see they are making a real mess of things just to keep power. The Libs are going to stroll in at this rate, despite the apparent lack of media releases ….

It’s not only the lack of press releases, it is really about them saying what it is that they would do differently and let the punters choose. Andrew Wall was on the radio today complaining about the trees near the Uriarra solar farm, but he didn’t say what he’d do for renewable energy if he had the reins…

The original complaint about the solar farm was that it’s right on the doorstep of the village, when there are other places it could go in the vicinity where it would be out of sight. The developers response to this has been to propose a thick screen of trees between the farm and the village, ignoring the fact that its a government requirement for the villagers to keep a cleared zone around the village to protect it from bushfires (at their own expense). Andrew was no doubt raising this new problem when you heard him on the radio.

The solution is for the solar farm to be built out of sight of the village – then the residents are happy and there is no need to compromise their bushfire safety with trees inside what is supposed to be a cleared zone. You’ve obviously not been following the story, or you would have already known this.

In regards to the Liberals policy regarding renewable energy, I remember reading an article by Nicole Lawder, their environment spokesperson, that was published in the Canberra Times some months back. It seemed a lot more rational than the government’s policy of increasingly paying out ever bigger subsidies to meet the 90% renewables target. Australia’s target, signed up to by federal Labor, is to reduce carbon emissions by 5-15% by 2020, so why is the local Labor government forcing residents of the ACT to pay for such massive reductions when, due to our higher than average incomes, we’ll already be bearing a higher than average share of national costs?

gooterz 9:06 pm 22 Jul 14

rommeldog56 said :

milkman said :

bundah said :

The question is are people prepared to make a greater financial contribution in order to get an improved outcome?

Not when it’s being p$#!ed away on c@#p like light rail that we don’t need, while a bus stop on Adelaide Ave (which we do need) is not forthcoming.

I don’t think the current local government has any concept of financial responsibility at all.

Ummmm……you left out that the current ACT Gov’t also has no idea about good decision making nor prioritisation. Will be interesting to see if the Light Rail buys them enough votes to hang onto power in 2016.

Whatever votes they’ll gain from people who have preference of rail over bus will be massacred by the number put out by construction. Depending on if the construction has started.

rommeldog56 9:43 am 22 Jul 14

milkman said :

bundah said :

The question is are people prepared to make a greater financial contribution in order to get an improved outcome?

Not when it’s being p$#!ed away on c@#p like light rail that we don’t need, while a bus stop on Adelaide Ave (which we do need) is not forthcoming.

I don’t think the current local government has any concept of financial responsibility at all.

Ummmm……you left out that the current ACT Gov’t also has no idea about good decision making nor prioritisation. Will be interesting to see if the Light Rail buys them enough votes to hang onto power in 2016.

milkman 7:06 am 22 Jul 14

bundah said :

The question is are people prepared to make a greater financial contribution in order to get an improved outcome?

Not when it’s being p$#!ed away on c@#p like light rail that we don’t need, while a bus stop on Adelaide Ave (which we do need) is not forthcoming.

I don’t think the current local government has any concept of financial responsibility at all.

bundah 5:10 pm 21 Jul 14

John Hargreaves Ex MLA said :

How are they going to tackle traffic congestion, how are they going to tackle the public housing waiting list, how are they going to tackle the hospital waiting list? How are they going to tackle the problem of recidivism in our jail? How are they going to tackle the drug issues around town? What about how are they going to tackle the potholes and road maintenance?

Getting an idea of what they might do would be a start but the ACT community is still waiting. and waiting, and has been waiting since 2001.

The issues you raise are obviously not unique to the ACT and the simple reality is that unless there’s greater spending in these areas little will change. The question is are people prepared to make a greater financial contribution in order to get an improved outcome?

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