CONSIDERATION OF MOTIONS TO BE ACCORDED PRIORITY
Electricity Assets Sale
Mr STUART AYRES
(Penrith) [3.45 p.m.]: My motion that this House supports the sale of New South Wales electricity generation assets to free up billions of dollars for essential infrastructure, such as roads hospitals and public transport, should be given priority because this Government was elected with a clear mandate to invest responsibly in infrastructure across this State. It did so by going to the election and telling the people of New South Wales that it would conduct an inquiry into the activities of the previous Government around the sale of electricity assets. That inquiry made a clear recommendation that the generation assets of this State should be sold to clean up the botched sale performed by the previous Government.
The key point is that investment in infrastructure should be done responsibly. We must ensure that we maintain the balance sheet of the State. That means transferring assets that are no longer valuable to the State so we can invest in new ones that are valuable. Something like the M4 East might be important to members with electorates in western Sydney. Members in the south-west might find that the M5 East is important to their electorates. Connecting the F3 to the M2 might be important to members from the Central Coast and north-west. It is probably worth recognising that we had some friends from Victoria in the galley earlier today. Victoria has a ring road that is a ring road—all the roads connect.
New South Wales does not have such a road because of the appalling approach taken by the previous Government. In articulating why this motion should be accorded priority I will quote from someone who is reasonably familiar to those opposite. "Supporting economic policies that promote competition and boost productivity is the key to raising living standards." Morris Iemma made that statement. The Leader of the Opposition would not have to hear those words; he can smell them because the stench of Morris Iemma's rotting leadership corpse still hangs around his neck. It is essential that this Government continues to look at ways to improve how it invests in infrastructure.
The electricity generation assets are fundamental to ensuring that this State maintains its triple-A credit rating and engages in financially responsible activities to ensure that we can invest in the infrastructure that people across this State demand. A total of 30 per cent of the revenue from the sale will go to regional New South Wales. "NSW" will no longer stand for Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong; under the O'Farrell-Stoner Government it will again stand for New South Wales. The sale of the electricity generation assets is the first stage in the transformation of the way this House does business. That will free up billions of dollars for us to invest in infrastructure and that is why this motion should be accorded priority.
Hunting in National Parks
Mr JOHN ROBERTSON
(Blacktown—Leader of the Opposition) [3.48 p.m.]: The motion that should be accorded priority is that this House condemns the Premier for converting our State's pristine national parks into hunting reserves. This is an historic day. Today we saw Barry O'Farrell peel off his mask and expose who he truly is. Barry O'Farrell went to the election and promised not to sell our electricity generation assets. He stood and promised not to allow hunting in our national parks. He said he would not do deals with the crossbenchers. Yet today a media release confirms him saying that the Government has decided to expand a culling program to allow smooth passage of legislation to sell the State's power generators. What does that mean?
It means that hunting will be allowed in 34 national parks, and that does not mean the number of national parks is limited to 34. It starts at 34 and includes the Kosciuszko National Park, pristine national park in which people ski, hike across country, camp and holiday. That will be opened up as a hunting ground. I draw to the attention of the member for Myall Lakes that people will be sitting in the middle of a lake on a houseboat in the Myall Lakes National Park and a stray bullet will go flying through the houseboat because someone in the national park took a pot shot and missed. What about Dorrigo National Park, Barrington Tops National Park or Morton National Park? Those national parks are protected to ensure that more than 1,000 endangered species of flora and fauna will not be trampled, shot or killed.
Today all that protection was overturned so that the Premier can get legislation through the Parliament. This is an historic day because two million hectares of national park will be turned into hunting grounds. Mums and dads who are out bushwalking or camping will no longer feel safe in national parks. When they go camping or bushwalking, they will need to wear an orange vest and a Kevlar vest to make sure they do not get shot. Government members have decided that 522 national parks and their flora and fauna no longer deserve to be protected from people shooting and rampaging through national parks. Wildlife will no longer have protection because the Premier did a deal. [Time expired.
Question—That the motion of the member for Penrith be accorded priority—put.
The House divided.
Mr R. C. Williams
Mr J. D. Williams
Question resolved in the affirmative.