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The costs of a green tinged government

By johnboy - 9 July 2009 13

CityNews is aghast at the costs to the ACT Government of the Labor/Green parliamentary agreement.

    “The Stanhope Government must tell us how these promises will be paid for,” shadow treasurer Brendan Smyth told “CityNews.

    “The people of the ACT were not made aware of what these promises to the Greens would cost. Now Mr Stanhope is ducking and weaving on the agreement. The Greens housing policy alone is close to a billion dollars – and the list goes on.”

    “CityNews” believes this is the first time the public has seen the internal costings that informed Chief Minister (and then-Treasurer) Jon Stanhope’s decision to sign the pact with the balance-of-power Greens.

    The hurried Treasury papers (one filed October 31, the day the agreement was signed; the other three days before) say that accepting the Greens mental health policy alone “would equate to the loss of 320 nurses or approximately 4000 low-cost elective surgery procedures”.

Brendan Smyth is working himself into a right old tizzy about it:

    “The revelations that Treasury was instructed to cost the Greens-Labor agreement means either the Chief Minister signed an agreement he knew would spiral the ACT economy into billions of dollars of debt, or he never had any intention of meeting his commitment to the Greens.

    “The question now for Jon Stanhope is what elements of the agreement are aspirational? Will he scrap mental health funding, 30 minute buses or water saving initiatives?

    “What is concerning is that many of the items in the agreement couldn’t be costed by Treasury. This total impact of this agreement is still un-costed.

    “The Chief Minister signed this agreement knowing the cost would exceed well over a billion dollars. Mr Stanhope now must enlighten ACT taxpayers why he has signed over potentially a third of the annual budget to remain Chief Minister,” Mr Smyth said.

What’s Your opinion?


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13 Responses to
The costs of a green tinged government
YapYapYap 12:31 am 11 Jul 09

PM said :

Where’s YapYapYap?

I’m here now PM. How are Zed and Brendan travelling – after all, they were prepred to do a deal with the bean munchers right up to the last minute, weren’t they?

Australianliberalist 10:40 pm 10 Jul 09

The problem with voters using the Greens as a protest vote against the two major parties means the Greens get more traction than what is a realistic reflection of support for their policies.
The Greens will have a real issue on their hands when the State Forests and National Parks surrounding Canberra eventually catch alight after years of no controlled burns and maintenance.
At this point, they are a nuisance, a party with more clout than it should have but if we keep using them as a protest vote they could become a real concern. They already have too much say in the Assembly considering their numbers.

chewy14 9:57 am 10 Jul 09

That was sort of my point Woody.

We got what we voted for.

However to claim the 15% Green vote gives them a mandate from the community for their policies is also wrong.

The Greens have every right to push their policies in the assembly.

And the Liberals have every right to blast them and Labor over these policies.

Woody Mann-Caruso 9:49 am 10 Jul 09

Ooh, can I play too? More than two out of three voters didn’t vote Liberal. More than half did vote for the Greens or Labor, so that’s who gets to rule. Don’t blame Stanhope for doing exactly what the Libs tried to do but failed, and what you would’ve done in the same position – cut a deal.

DEMOCRACY: SUCK IT UP

Why didn’t this 15% get a say too then?

It’s a little disingenuous to compare 15% solidarity with 15% consisting of diverse misfits like the Motorists Party, Richard Mulcahy and the Pangallo Independents. All but one of those leftovers got fewer votes than there were donkey votes.

chewy14 8:59 am 10 Jul 09

NickD said :

Because he didn’t win the election outright and had to negotiate with the Greens to form government. Duh. Seeing as the Greens enjoyed a 6.5% increase in support and attracted just over 15% of the vote while the ALP and Liberals suffered swings against them, it seems safe to say that a lot of Canberrans are happy to be seeing The Greens’ policies implemented and replacing ALP policies.

15% of people also voted for neither Labor, Liberal or the Greens. Why didn’t this 15% get a say too then?

As Nemo said 85% of people didn’t vote for the Greens.

Thumper 8:27 am 10 Jul 09

The question now for Jon Stanhope is what elements of the agreement are aspirational?

I love aspirational targets.

A bit like Claytons…

Pandy 12:12 am 10 Jul 09

So if the Greens are anti buses, are they pro rail?

Nemo 10:54 pm 09 Jul 09

The Greens may have got 15% of the vote, however this indicates to me that 85% of voters dont want green policies – an overwhelming majority.

Now we know why parking fees and bus fares went up this week.

ant 10:00 pm 09 Jul 09

I hope the ACT’s power doesn’t go up like ours has. Got my power bill today, it’s now 19.something cents per kw/hr. and the access charge is even worse.

NickD 9:54 pm 09 Jul 09

“Mr Stanhope now must enlighten ACT taxpayers why he has signed over potentially a third of the annual budget to remain Chief Minister”

Because he didn’t win the election outright and had to negotiate with the Greens to form government. Duh. Seeing as the Greens enjoyed a 6.5% increase in support and attracted just over 15% of the vote while the ALP and Liberals suffered swings against them, it seems safe to say that a lot of Canberrans are happy to be seeing The Greens’ policies implemented and replacing ALP policies.

The Liberals would be better off figuring out how they can cut a deal with The Greens after the next election (unlikely, but not impossible) rather than abusing them at every turn as they’re doing at the moment.

PM 7:36 pm 09 Jul 09

Where’s YapYapYap?

housebound 6:30 pm 09 Jul 09

It was interesting to watch the response of our beloved CM and his good friends the greens.

paperboy 6:25 pm 09 Jul 09

That was WIN’s lead story last night. City News credit, and all.

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