Back in the chamber for the 2010-2011 Budget boogie the ACT Legislative Assembly has taken Treasurer Katy Gallagher’s numbers to task, particularly the Change of Use Charge changes, public housing and childcare.
But something has changed… the Liberal boys have backed down.
For the entire of 2010 thus far #actqt has been characterised by the ongoing battle between Gallagher and the Opposition males, particularly Jeremy Hanson. Today all was quiet on the healthcare/treasury front… or at least far more peaceful than usual.
The Speaker only needed to hush them a handful of times, when Gallagher reiterated her right to take a holiday and when she called Hanson a wind-up doll (thank you for that line, @markparton), the Opposition took her out over the cartoon cover of the Canberra Times (hey! We’ve got one too!) and Gallagher threw this brilliant line at young Liberal Alistair Coe:
“Alistair, you live for the day you’re made into a cartoon.”
The Liberals have clearly changed tactics, they are no longer implementing Operation Attack Katy, but it’s unclear what their next will be.
A far larger percentage of #actqt was then left to Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services Joy Burch to account for, and it must be said she did surprisingly well.
Burch usually responds to questions, both Dixers and those from the Liberals and Greens, with the recitation of blocks of policy text, but today she stood up and winged it.
It was beautiful. I nearly cried with happiness.
With the Greens pulling her over for diminished commitments to youth services employees and public housing in the rebuilding of the ABC flats and the Liberals picking over childcare, Burch actually rose to the occasion – or at least she made it sound like she was and that is a hell of a lot better to hear than party dot points.
Meanwhile Stanhope got grilled over his $97 million “Transport for Canberra” budget provision after a Dixer got him going. Ten points to Greens MLA Amanda Bresnan for her question on how much money was actually going to ACTION for bus services – a query perhaps inspired by an article in this week’s CityNews?
Highlight of the day?
Vicki Dunne: “Mr Speaker, can you please ask Mr Barr to withdraw the word ‘moron’ he just used to describe Mr Smyth?”