House debates

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Matters of Public Importance

Local Government

3:44 pm

Photo of Wayne SwanWayne Swan (Lilley, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

If only those opposite supported this principle all of the time. In this House today, during question time, we saw the very selective approach of our Prime Minister to local democracy. He was too smart by half today, our Prime Minister. He was too tricky and too dishonest. Early in question time, he was in full support of ballots for council amalgamations in Queensland. Only a matter of minutes later, when asked a question about the siting of 25 nuclear power plants, where did local democracy go? Local democracy went right out of the window. Less than an hour ago the Prime Minister said to those local authorities that do not want nuclear power plants that they must understand that the decisions as to where nuclear power plants might be located in the future will not be decisions of the government; they will be decisions of commercial investors. In other words, no local planning laws are going to apply. Nuclear plants will be rammed down the throats of local communities. There is no new-found commitment here to local plebiscites. All of those members over there, such as the member for Fairfax, the member for Hinkler and the member for Longman, who face the prospect of having nuclear power plants in their electorates—


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