Although it only went for half an hour, Question Time in the ACT Legislative Assembly was blaring today, with Gallagher claiming to “debunk the myths” depicted in a slide-show by the Liberals at the Budget Breakfast Wednesday.
Change of Use Charge changes were back on track, the Liberal boys in full swing bellowing about a “massive new tax”, to which Gallagher replied in flat denial:
It’s not a big new tax.
With affordability for units on the agenda, Greens MLA Meredith Hunter segued with a question on urban sustainability and building materials in the #actbudget forcing Planning Minister Andrew Barr to acknowledge he had no idea about how much money was being spent on it, if any at all (see the bottom paragraph of page 20 in the CityNews this week).
This led into an indepth reiteration of REAL FACTS in the #actbudget. What these are is irrelevent. The Government says it has them, the Opposition says they’re lying. Some heated argument broke out over this and Gallagher shook her finger at the Liberal boys:
We do have visitors in the Assembly today, so keep it nice.
Gallagher said the Liberals were alleging the GFC had no effect on the #actbudget, to refute this she pointed to the Federal stimulus, arguing that stimulus measures masked the effect of the GFC in the ACT, bringing the budget into surplus when it would not have been otherwise:
We were a letterbox for Commonwealth money coming in for schools and housing.
Speaker Shane Rattenbury told John Hargreaves off for “baiting the Opposition” before Gallagher delivered the mother of all one liners:
I have not hidden behind the communist – ah Commonwealth – stimulus.
The crowd lost it. The chamber lost it. It was HILARIOUS.
And the Chief stepped in. Jon Stanhope said, “Mr Speaker, I fear you are at risk of losing control of the Assembly.”
They all quietened down for a bit after that.
Call me a sucker for melodrama, but I was sorry for #actqt to end today.