The Spit Bridge Widening
Mrs SKINNER (North Shore) [11.30 a.m.]: I move:
That this House takes note of the editorial in the Mosman Daily of 26 June 2003, which declared that the honourable member for Manly is blinkered by an urge to cosy up to the Carr Government over plans to widen The Spit Bridge, a tactic which will ultimately prove politically impotent.
I quoted the words of the editorial when I said "blinkered by an urge to cosy up to the … government". I will quote the entire editorial because it represents a view widely held by the people of the North Shore.
Mr Barr: Political journalism.
Mrs SKINNER: The honourable member for Manly suggests that this is political journalism.
Mr Barr: It is blinkered.
Mrs SKINNER: Yesterday the honourable member suggested that it is a plot by the Liberals. I am pleased that he thinks that all of the 6,254 signatures on the petition are those of members of the Liberal Party, that the 2,000 people who attended the rally at The Spit Reserve two Saturdays ago were all members of the Liberal Party, that the editor of the Mosman Daily is a member of the Liberal Party, that the journalists who wrote the articles in the Mosman Daily are stooge Liberals, and that the constituents from his electorate who attended the rally are members of the Liberal Party. It will be of particular interest to Government members to know that the Labor candidate for Manly attended the rally protesting against the widening of The Spit Bridge. How ironic! Does that not prove that this proposal is just a sop to the Independent member for Manly to try to get him re-elected? The Labor candidate protested against Labor's plans to widen The Spit Bridge.
The reason there is such public unrest and outrage about this $35 million proposal is that it makes a bad traffic problem worse. It will do nothing to alleviate the problems of gridlocked roads up Spit hill and along Spit Road and Military Road. It will do nothing to prevent traffic rat-running through the residential streets of Mosman. It will do nothing for the people of Manly and the northern peninsula who want a better route through the electorate of North Shore as they drive to their destinations. Widening the bridge will only create a bigger block of traffic further up Spit hill. The lanes up Spit hill and on The Spit Bridge are narrower than the national safety standard and they are unsafe. Spit hill has a high accident rate and there have been tragic deaths there—a matter that is totally ignored by the honourable member for Manly.
The honourable member for Manly also ignores the fact that the road is used not only by people from my electorate and, indeed, his electorate, it is also used by people from all over Sydney and the State who want to enjoy the great pleasure of the northern beaches. People use the road on the weekends perhaps even more than they do during the week and during peak traffic times. Traffic on the weekends is bumper to bumper, as it was two weekends ago when the rally was held. People also travel along the road to attend sporting activities.
Mr Barr: That is why the bridge should be widened.
Mrs SKINNER: The honourable member for Manly interjects, "That is why you need another bridge." He should watch the television tonight: he will see that members of the Sensible Traffic Action Group [STAG] delivered petitions to me at 11.00 a.m. today. The petitions were signed by more than 6,000 residents, some of whom are in the gallery. I welcome them to the House today. The petitions were delivered by horse and buggy, a mediaeval method of transporting petitions. They were accompanied by a town crier, who is also in the gallery. That mediaeval method of delivering petitions delivers a mediaeval solution to a modern problem. That is what the Government and the honourable member for Manly are all about: they are old-fashioned and cannot think of a modern solution to a real problem.
I predict that the honourable member for Manly will say, "We have already had a referendum on this, and I was re-elected." I remind him that I was re-elected, the honourable member for Willoughby was elected, the honourable member for Wakehurst was re-elected, and the Leader of the Opposition, who represents the Pittwater electorate, was re-elected. We all supported a long-term solution to this problem—a tunnel to bypass the gridlocked roads that will allow express buses to travel from the northern beaches to the city and other destinations.
Mr Barr: But that puts all the traffic through Manly.
Mrs SKINNER: The honourable member for Manly can burble away as much as he likes. The editor of the Mosman Daily is not a member of the Liberal Party. His editorial is totally independent, a word that the honourable member for Manly would like. The entire editorial in the Mosman Daily stated:
There has long been an argument that Independent politicians are ineffective in parliament.
While this may be a generalisation, the people of Mosman cannot be blamed for adopting this point of view in respect of Independent Manly MP David Barr.
Mr Barr happily tells all who will listen that he is the mastermind behind the Spit Bridge widening proposal. He has publicly denigrated the people of Mosman who are fighting with all their energy against his masterplan. We are "angry and irrational", he says.
According to Mr Barr we should grab the $35 million plan being offered because it is "the first new transport infrastructure on the Peninsula in 50 years".
Is he so blinded by the cash carrot that he simply cannot see how unsafe and unworkable this plan is?
Can't he fathom the fact that it does nothing to address the traffic problems of Spit and Military Rds?
To dismiss those who oppose him as "angry and irrational" is churlish and insulting.
Mr Barr seems blinkered by an urge to cosy up to the current government—a tactic which will ultimately prove politically impotent.
It is unfortunate that while he is big-noting himself in the corridors of Macquarie St, the future of Mosman hangs in the balance.
Grow up, Mr Barr, and dare to peek beyond your own backyard fence.
The unemployment queue would beckon if we had the chance to express at the ballot box our feelings about your comments.
The Mosman Daily is a well-respected newspaper that consistently wins the award for the best newspaper of the year. That newspaper is a member of the Cumberland Group.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The honourable member for East Hills will come to order.
Mrs SKINNER: I am happy to show honourable members what the newspaper looks like. It is read not only by the residents of my electorate but by those beyond.
Mr Ashton: Point of order: Loath as I am to take a point of order during the member's speech, the Mosman Daily may well be a reverential paper, but it is a prop and should not be used in such a hallowed place as the New South Wales Parliament.
Mrs SKINNER: To the point of order: My motion is all about the editorial in the Mosman Daily. It is entirely appropriate for me to refer to that newspaper since its editorial is the basis of my motion.
Mr J. H. Turner: To the point of order: Speaker Murray clearly ruled that honourable members can refer to headlines in newspapers; I read that ruling only 30 seconds ago. If you are to rule on the use of props, I suggest you take notice of yesterday's precedent in relation to a T-shirt being waved around. That T-shirt was a prop—and I wonder where it came from! This document is a factual statement.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! I did not interrupt the honourable member for North Shore because, as she has pointed out, the newspaper is the subject of the motion. She was probably provoked into displaying the newspaper by the interjections of the member for East Hills. She has now made her point and will not need to use it further.
Mrs SKINNER: I have made my point. I thank the honourable member for East Hills for drawing to the attention of everyone in the gallery and others what a wonderful paper the Mosman Daily is. I am proud to hold it up in this hallowed Chamber of Parliament for everyone to see. Obviously, people in the gallery and others know that Government members are taking points of order to try to prevent me from speaking against their close friend and ally the honourable member for Manly—an Independent in disguise who is closely associated with the Labor Party and who was re-elected to this Parliament with the support of that party. I might add that the honourable member for Manly is the person behind that scurrilous dirt sheet—
Mr Barr: Point of order: The honourable member for North Shore is straying from the motion.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The Opposition benches will come to order. The honourable member for Wakehurst will restrain himself. The honourable member for North Shore has the call.
Mrs SKINNER: I rest my case. [Time expired.]
Mr BARR (Manly) [11.41 p.m.]: I move:
That the motion be amended by leaving out all words after "That" with a view to inserting instead:
"this House condemns the Opposition for trying to deny northern beaches residents a badly needed improvement to the Spit Bridge bottleneck."
The puerile motion moved by the honourable member for North Shore contains one word that exemplifies what the Opposition is about. That word is "impotent"—or, to be more precise, "politically impotent". The Opposition, which is the most ineffective Opposition we have had for many years, is a threat to our democracy. Opposition members should not be attacking me. Rather, they should be attacking the Government on substantive issues. The honourable member for North Shore has moved a puerile motion that attacks me.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The honourable member for Lismore will come to order.
Mr BARR: The honourable member for North Shore has not been able, in any way, shape or form, to justify why The Spit Bridge proposal should be rejected.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst will come to order.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! I call the honourable member for Wakehurst to order.
Mr BARR: The consultant's report on this issue states that this proposal will improve safety, the contra-peak hour flow, the movement of traffic outside peak hours, and the bus flow. The traffic engineer said that there was no traffic engineering reason to refuse this development application. The honourable member for North Shore referred earlier to lane widths. The Hallam traffic report states:
The assertion was repeatedly made to both public meetings [that were held] that the proposed lane widths of 3.2-3.5 m are 700mm less than "National standards". We have no idea what "National standards" they are talking about.... the proposed lane widths will be very satisfactory and in line with the RTA's Road Design Guide. We can only assume that WAG is mis-understanding something they have read.
Many lies have been peddled about this proposal. Some of the lies include the claim that The Spit Bridge will be less safe, when the engineer's report states that it will be safer. It has also been claimed that trees will be cut down and there will be no entry into Battle Boulevard. Many lies have been peddled, but no alternatives have been suggested. Transport on the northern beaches is an ongoing issue. In the 1990s a section 22 committee looked at a number of options. When I questioned the consultant who wrote this report he said that he had not read the section 22 committee report. In the report he basically states that everything is fine. However, a political recommendation at the end of that report requests the Minister to withdraw the proposal because of a lack of public support.
Last year I wrote to every constituent in my electorate. Attached to each letter was a piece of blue paper with two boxes on it and a space for general comment. The wording in the first box was, "I support the widening of the Spit Bridge" and the wording in the second box was, "I support fewer openings of the Spit Bridge." I received more than 2,200 responses from constituents, who were required to put that piece of paper into an envelope, put a stamp on the envelope and post it.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! Members on the Opposition benches will cease interjecting.
Mr BARR: If that is not public support, I do not know what is. Furthermore, at the last State election the Opposition, for the fourth time in a row, lost the State seat of Manly to an Independent— and that really got up their nostrils! They are doing everything they can to try to stop any progress on the Manly side of The Spit Bridge because they do not want it. The one thing that irritates members of the Liberal Party more than an Independent holding the seat of Manly is an Independent who is getting things done for his electorate.
If I were impotent, the honourable member for North Shore would not have moved this motion. The motion confirms that, for a little over a year, I have been effective as a member of Parliament in getting this proposal under way. I am achieving outcomes for my electorate that Opposition members are unable to achieve. Opposition members went to the last election with a proposal to build a 6.5 kilometre tunnel under the deepest part of the harbour where there is sediment and all sorts of issues relating to gradients. They told the electorate that that project would cost $950 million. The 2.1-kilometre Cross-City Tunnel, which is one-third the length of the Opposition's proposed tunnel and which is not under water, will cost $680 million. Opposition members wanted to build a tunnel that is three times the length of the Cross-City Tunnel. That is absolute nonsense.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst will restrain himself.
Mr BARR: Opposition members, who are extremely ineffective, do not prepare proper plans. They offer back-of-the-envelope solutions to the public at the time of an election, which they do not win. Opposition members could not convince the public that the tunnel scheme was feasible. They promoted the tunnel theme for the whole of the election campaign, but, on the day of the election, not one word was spoken about it because research showed that the public did not want a tunnel. Opposition members might have wanted to build a tunnel to Mosman, but what would have happened at the Manly end? It is most likely that residents would have been subjected to a ventilation stack like the 58-metre high stack that is located at Artarmon.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst is testing the patience of the Chair.
Mr BARR: What have Opposition members done for their electorates? The impotence and ineffectiveness of Opposition members is an insult to democracy. They are unable to pin down the Government in relation to any issue. They do not do their homework or research. They come up with a back-of-the-envelope proposal for a 6.5 kilometre tunnel. They think they are going to sell the proposal to the electorate, and they lose the election. Opposition members are now involved in a campaign to try to stop progress on The Spit Bridge, the first work that has been done on that bridge for almost 50 years. The proposal is to create two additional lanes on the western side of the bridge. At present there are four lanes on the bridge.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! I call the honourable member for Wakehurst to order.
Mr BARR: It will mean that traffic coming from the Manly side of the bridge will no longer have to be channelled into one lane; it will be able to use three lanes. At present people travelling from Mosman in the morning are funnelled into one lane. Under this proposal, they will be able to use three lanes. The notion that Opposition members should seek to stop this bridge widening is an absolute nonsense. It is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Manly. Who on the Manly side opposes this proposal? It is Liberal Party hacks. They are trying to prevent this proposal from going ahead. They are attempting to fight the last election, but they will not win on this issue.
The Manly electorate has been represented by Independents for 12 years, and it will soon be 16 years. I will make it 20 years after that—and doesn't that get up Opposition members' nostrils! Manly wharf is to be refurbished, the senior high school has been built, and $4.5 million is being spent on Harbord Public School. An unprecedented number of public works have started, or will start, in the Manly electorate. What does the honourable member for Wakehurst do? He hangs around my electorate office all the time. He is an absolute snoop. [Time expired.]
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! I call the honourable member for Wakehurst to order for the second time.
Ms BEREJIKLIAN (Willoughby) [11.51 a.m.]: I am extremely pleased to support the motion moved by the honourable member for North Shore. The widening of The Spit Bridge would have a detrimental impact on the residents of not only Manly and the North Shore but my electorate of Willoughby. I extremely disappointed in the honourable member for Manly for being sucked into supporting an extremely myopic and inadequate solution. Moreover, I regret the honourable member's apparent contempt for the residents of not only his electorate but the entire North Shore. The honourable member is letting the Government off the hook with this proposal: It is a bandaid measure that will not help residents and will save the Government's having to find a long-term, viable solution.
We cannot even accuse the honourable member for Manly of taking the not-in-my-backyard approach on this issue because this proposal is not even supported by Manly Council. We heard today that the Labor candidate for Manly in the recent State election does not support the proposal. The honourable member for Manly is a member of an increasingly small group that continues to promulgate the Australian Labor Party [ALP] position that will fail residents, and ultimately the honourable member.
Let us consider the detrimental impact on my constituents of the proposal supported by the honourable member for Manly and the ALP. There is no doubt that the proposal will not mitigate but exacerbate traffic congestion on Military Road, which forms the boundary between my electorate and that of the honourable member for North Shore. I refer honourable members to some information provided by the Sensible Traffic Action Group [STAG]. According to the group, even the Roads and Traffic Authority [RTA] has acknowledged that traffic flows will increase by as much as 20 per cent. The RTA has acknowledged that widening The Spit Bridge will not alleviate bottlenecks at either end of the bridge, which is where the majority of problems occur. Widening The Spit Bridge will simply allow traffic to bottleneck faster. The new lanes will be equal to, or less than, the width of the existing lanes, which are 700 millimetres less than the national safety standard.
Mr Barr: Point of order: The honourable member for Willoughby is misleading the House. She claims that traffic flows will increase by 20 per cent. That is totally untrue.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member for Willoughby has the call.
Ms BEREJIKLIAN: In addition to the increased traffic flows highlighted by STAG, the residents of Cammeray and North Cremorne in my electorate would have to put up with an increasing volume of traffic on residential streets as rat runs are caused by more cars using Spit and Military roads. I am concerned about the amenity of those residents. Not a day passes without my constituents expressing concern about the volume of traffic on Military Road. This proposal will exacerbate that problem. Safety is also a concern not only on the bends of Spit Road—to which the honourable member for North Shore referred—but further along Military Road.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The honourable member for Murray-Darling will come to order.
Ms BEREJIKLIAN: At the end of last year the honourable member for North Shore and I visited Bougainvillea Bay Club Resort Retirement Village, which is situated on Military Road, when one of its residents perished while trying to cross that road. The proposed change to existing traffic conditions will only exacerbate safety concerns and increase the propensity for heavy vehicles to travel along Military Road. What does this proposal mean for the constituents of Manly, who will simply have to negotiate bottlenecks further up the road? Shifting the problem a few kilometres up the road will not help the constituents of Manly, and it certainly will not help constituents in the North Shore and Willoughby electorates.
I also highlight the potential detrimental impact of noise pollution on Middle Harbour. For instance, Northbridge residents already suffer noise pollution from traffic on the bridge, and that problem will be exacerbated by this proposal. The impact on the public waterways of Middle Harbour has not been considered adequately. Members of the Sydney boating community have raised several concerns with me in that regard. The honourable member for Manly should do the right thing and admit that he is wrong on this occasion. It is not too late: he can turn this issue around. He must show some respect for the residents of the lower North Shore, for whom this proposal will cause problems, and unblinker his view about what is best—
Mr Orkopoulos: What do you propose?
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The honourable member for Swansea and the honourable member for North Shore will cease discussing the issue across the Chamber.
Ms BEREJIKLIAN: We have put our proposal on the record. The honourable member for Manly should not let the Government get away with this half-hearted solution, which allows it to ignore what is needed: a long-term viable tunnel solution such as that supported by honourable members on this side of the House. [Time expired.]
Mr SCULLY (Smithfield—Minister for Roads, and Minister for Housing) [11.56 a.m.]: What a bizarre performance by those characters opposite! This motion is about one thing, and one thing only: those opposite are absolutely obsessed with the honourable member for Manly. He has got under their skin. The peninsular Liberals are particularly obsessed with him. It is not National Party members or Liberal members representing non-peninsular electorates but the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, the honourable member for North Shore and the honourable member for Wakehurst who are obsessed with the honourable member for Manly. I think that reflects well on the honourable member: He has got under their skin.
This motion is an insult to the will of the people of Manly, who voted for the honourable member. The honourable member for Manly put this issue to the electorate during the election campaign. He said, "I want The Spit Bridge widened," and the people of Manly voted for him. So he is still in this place. It is absolutely insulting for Opposition members to pretend that the people of Manly did not vote on that issue. This is a con. Opposition members go to public meetings, rallies and Liberal Party branch meetings and say, "If this widening occurs, you will miss out on the tunnel." I have been roads Minister for about 6 ½ years.
Mrs Skinner: Point of order—
Mr SCULLY: You do not want to hear it, you arrogant woman.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The Minister for Roads will resume his seat.
Mr O'Farrell: You have the nerve to talk about—
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat.
Mr O'Farrell: You control the Minister and the House and we will respect your chairmanship. The Minister should not lecture me when people are—
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! The Deputy Leader of the Opposition will not cast aspersions on the Chair. I call him to order. He will resume his seat. The honourable member for North Shore has the call.
Mrs Skinner: Given that the Minister for Roads, and Minister for Housing and his staff attended a meeting at Spit Hill after the death of a person from the northern region, he has a nerve to suggest that we do not understand.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Lynch): Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member for North Shore will resume her seat. The Minister for Roads has the call.
Mr SCULLY: It is astonishing. A widening of 80 metres—let us say, 100 metres—is proposed, from four lanes to six lanes. Throughout the road network chunks of road are widened. But in this case Opposition members say, "You can't do that; you can't widen it by 100 metres. We will miss out on our $1.2 billion tunnel if you do that. My goodness, Carl Scully, stop! Hold everything! Don't widen the bridge. We are going to get our six-kilometre super tunnel, costing $1.2 billion, if you don't widen it." What a load of codswallop! How dare Opposition members raise that expectation. They are good people in the gallery, and the Opposition is conning them.
There would be a shortfall of at least $500 million, after a toll. Will Tony Abbott and the Leader of the Opposition in this Chamber tell me where the $500 million will come from? Not once has the Government said that this is a panacea for all the ills on Military Road. Yes, the Spit bends, The Spit Bridge and Spit Junction all need more work eventually. I have never told the good residents of the local community that this is the panacea for all the difficulties they face living on the peninsula. It would be fine if I could wave a magic wand and fix all the problems on the road at once, but that is not how it happens.
The Opposition will never find out that government is challenging and government is about incremental improvement. Government plans over years, not overnight, how to improve people's lives. Government is a tough challenge, and we will continue to enjoy the challenge during the next 20-odd years. I advise the people of Manly that we will proceed with the program of widening The Spit Bridge, subject to planning approval. If planning approval is not forthcoming, $35 million will not be spent in the electorate of the honourable member for Manly; it will be spent in other parts of New South Wales.
I will spend the money elsewhere. The honourable member for Manly said, "No, keep the money in Manly." I will follow that response. [Time expired.]
Mr HAZZARD (Wakehurst) [12.01 p.m.]: In 1994-95 the honourable member for North Shore, the former member for Manly, Dr Peter Macdonald, and I were members of a section 22 committee. We put in the hard yards to try to solve a major problem for the residents of the northern beaches. Since that time a number of people have died on the S-bends of the Spit hill.
The honourable member for Manly can interject, but he should listen to what people are saying for a change, and put aside his political juvenile behaviour. Two years ago—after the committee had done all that earnest work to try to come up with a solution, after recognising a problem that went back almost a decade, after a number of lives had been lost—
Mr Barr: What did you do?
Mr HAZZARD: The honourable member for Manly may not know this because he was not a member of this House at the time. After Labor's election to government in May 1995 the next meeting of the section 22 committee was not held until the September. I frequently asked for a meeting to be held, and when one was finally held the Chair looked at us and said that the committee was finished. As soon as Labor came to government it tossed out any serious intention of fixing the problem. The Government wonders why we are passionate about this issue, but Lucy Singleton was the last one to die on the S-bends of the Spit hill—
Mr Barr: We are talking about—
Mr HAZZARD: Shut up, David!
Mr Barr: What about the S-bends?
Mr HAZZARD: Lucy Singleton died when a four-wheel drive vehicle crossed those S-bends and went straight into her small car. This is a serious matter for every resident of the northern beaches, including Manly.
Ms Judge: Point of order—
Mr HAZZARD: Sit down, Vinny, you are out of your depth. The problem is that the honourable member for Manly is a liar. He lied his head off during the campaign and spent most of his time being an apologist for the Australian Labor Party.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! Does the honourable member for Strathfield seek to take a point of order?
Mr HAZZARD: The honourable member for Manly should have the guts to join the Labor Party and stand as a Labor member in Manly and do what he does best: behave like a Labor member.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst will resume his seat.
Ms Judge: I believe that the use of bad language in this Chamber is totally inappropriate. It is demeaning of this Chamber. Calling a woman stupid is not becoming of parliamentary—
In fact, your leader was vocal about having a code of conduct. I would suggest that members of the Opposition at least observe decorum in this Chamber.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! When taking a point of order the honourable member for Strathfield should direct her remarks through the Chair. I remind the honourable member for Wakehurst of the protocols of the House relating to the way in which members refer to each other.
Mr HAZZARD: The issue of The Spit Bridge is fairly simple. The Government could promise a lot of wonderful solutions, as it has with many things, but if The Spit Bridge had 10 extra lanes and the drawbridge was raised, it would still be blocked.
Mr Barr: Two.
Mr HAZZARD: Yes, the honourable member is right. But even if there were 10 or 20 lanes, as the people in the public gallery have said, we would still have a medieval solution. There is no other drawbridge anywhere in Sydney. We live in a twenty-first century city and we deserve a fair dinkum response from this Government. Contrary to the lies of the honourable member for Manly, who ran around before the last election saying that there would be stacks in every suburb, and toll gates right across—
Mr Barr: I didn't say every suburb.
Mr HAZZARD: Sit down, David.
Mr Barr: Point of order—
Mr HAZZARD: You would do anything to shut me up, wouldn't you? You are a lettuce leaf. You have done nothing for your electorate.
Mr Barr: I have done more than you have.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst will resume his seat. Does the honourable member for Manly wish to take a point of order?
Mr HAZZARD: What have you brought to fruition? Did we get anything for the hospital? The Government promised more money for the hospital but we got nothing.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst will resume his seat. I place him on three calls to order.
Mr HAZZARD: You promised a solution and we did not get that. You promised more police and we did not get that. What have you promised that has actually come to fruition?
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! The honourable member for Wakehurst will resume his seat or I will direct that he be removed from the Chamber.
Mr Barr: My point of order is that the honourable member is misleading the House about my statements at the election.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! There is no point of order.
Mr HAZZARD: The short answer is that the honourable member for Manly is a liar. He has lied his head off in this place and to the people of Manly. His promised solution is no solution at all. [Time expired.]
Mr TORBAY (Northern Tablelands) [12.06 p.m.]: I am pleased to support the honourable member for Manly. That shameful display has a great deal less to do with The Spit Bridge than it has to do with the election of the honourable member for Manly. I am disappointed that the level of interjection in this place has reached a new low.
Mr Constance: Point of order: I am at a loss, like most honourable members, as to why the honourable member for Northern Tablelands is speaking to this motion.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! The honourable member for Bega will direct his remarks through the Chair.
Mr Constance: He is not even addressing this motion.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member for Bega will resume his seat.
Mr TORBAY: It does the members of the Opposition no good to conduct themselves in this fashion in this place. If these issues are as serious as some honourable members have pointed out in a very minor part of their speech then it would be appropriate for them—
Mr Hazzard: Point of order: I assume I will get two minutes like the honourable member for Strathfield on her point of order. The debate has to be within the leave of the motion. At the moment the honourable member for Northern Tablelands is right outside the leave of the motion.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! There is no point of order. The honourable member for Wakehurst will resume his seat.
Mr TORBAY: The honourable member for Manly has represented his community. He was duly elected the member for Manly, and I congratulate him. It is inappropriate for Opposition members to conduct themselves in this fashion. If they really wanted to adopt a constructive approach on this issue, they would not put forward such a motion.
Mr George: Point of order—
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! Before I hear another point of order, I remind members that they should not waste the time of the House.
Mr George: My point of order relates to relevance. The honourable member for Northern Tablelands criticised Opposition members and said that the level of interjections in this Chamber lowers the quality of the debate. I remind the House of the nature of his interjections and the way in which the Independents performed last week during a debate.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! There is no point of order.
Mr TORBAY: It is clear that the Independents are making a strong impact in this place. I congratulate my Independent colleagues. The honourable member for Willoughby interjects. I understand her sensitivities with a few Independents out her away. The honourable member for Manly is entitled to represent his electorate and put forward constructive contributions on matters of interest or concern to his constituents. He should not be subjected to inappropriate conduct by Opposition members when he makes contributions which are issues-based and which seek solutions for his electorate. I congratulate the honourable member for Manly on his independence and on seeking solutions.
Mr Hazzard: Point of order—
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! I remind the honourable member for Wakehurst, before he speaks to the point of order, of my earlier warning that members should not waste the time of the House. If the honourable member for Wakehurst does so, I will direct that he be removed from the House.
Mr Hazzard: Madam Acting-Speaker, you have taken up 12 seconds of the time of the House while I have been waiting to make my point of order. I give up! If you will not listen to it, I will not make it.
Mr TORBAY: "I give up!" Those are key words for the honourable member for Wakehurst. In conclusion, can I say—
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! I ask the Deputy Serjeant-at-Arms to remove the honourable member for Wakehurst.
[The honourable member for Wakehurst left the Chamber, accompanied by the Deputy Serjeant-at-Arms.]
Mr TORBAY: It is embarrassing that honourable members conduct themselves in this way. It is not in the interests of their constituencies. [Time expired.]
Mrs SKINNER (North Shore) [12.11 p.m.], in reply: What a farce! The Independent member for Northern Tablelands has made it quite clear that the Independents are not independent but are members of a group who work together, caucus together and work with the Labor Party—some not as much as others, but the honourable member for Manly and the honourable member for Northern Tablelands certainly do. How many votes did they get from the Labor Party? How many votes did they get to get over the line?
Mr Torbay: Point of order: The honourable member is misleading the House. She asked how many preferences I required. I remind her that I got almost 72 per cent of the primary vote.
Madam ACTING-SPEAKER (Ms Saliba): Order! There is no point of order.
Mrs SKINNER: He's a sensitive little vegemite!
Mr Black: You don't have to be sensitive if you get 72 per cent!
Mrs SKINNER: The colourful member for Murray-Darling! The Independents should have listened to the debate. My comments were based on an editorial in the Mosman Daily. Those were not my words, but the words of the independent press. The honourable member for Manly used to work on the Manly Daily, so the editor knows his modus operandi. The editor knows that the people of Manly have been betrayed by their member. The honourable member does not even have the support of the Manly council, which did not accept the development application. As for the Minister, who spoke in this debate, what a farce! He spoke about the development application as though some kind of democratic approval process had been allowed by the council. The Minister knows well that both Manly and Mosman councils rejected this development application, but that the councils will be overridden by the Minister in order to bring about a solution that suits him and the honourable member.
In all of the proposals that have come before the people of the north shore, over the bridge into Manly and into suburbs represented by my colleague the honourable member for Willoughby, I have never come across an issue that has so activated the community. The community is so angry that members of the Sensible Traffic Action Group [STAG] have taken time out of their working lives to organise, and come to this place to deliver, a petition that has more than 6,000 signatures. The honourable member said he had a petition with 2,000 signatures. Where is it? Are those signatures genuine? Has the petition been tabled? I do not think so! STAG's petition contains 6,000 signatures, with names, addresses and contact details. Those people object to this absolutely stupid proposal.
I will be sending every one of those 6,500 people a copy of the Hansard record of this debate, hopefully with all the interjections and other comments noting the foul behaviour of the Minister, who called me an arrogant woman. I can put up with that because I know he was desperate to say something to defend such a stupid proposal. I will be sending them a copy of this debate, the amendment and the responses of the Independents and the Minister to the motion. They will know that the honourable member for Manly would foist on them this stupid proposal for a drawbridge as a solution to a problem confronting the people of Mosman and Manly. This proposal will not provide a solution; it will make matters worse. Even Roads and Traffic Authority officials agree that it will exacerbate the problems.
The honourable member for Manly said the Coalition did not have a solution. Indeed we did. As he knows, a survey and investigation were undertaken by the Commonwealth Government. That process resulted in the optimum long-term solution for this area: a long tunnel north of Sydney Road through to the expressway, bypassing the seat of North Shore, and costed at $950 million. The Coalition committed, from memory, about $320 million for that project, with the rest to be funded by the private sector. I can tell the House, from rallies and contacts with my constituents, the people in the area would be happy to pay a toll if there were private sector involvement in a public-private partnership. Get real! The honourable member should be condemned for supporting this proposal. I congratulate the honourable member for Willoughby and the honourable member for Wakehurst on their fine contributions to this very important debate. [Time expired.]
Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.
The House divided.
|Mr Hickey |
Mr J. H. Turner
Mr R. W. Turner
|Ms Andrews||Mr Brogden|
|Mr Aquilina||Mr Slack-Smith|
|Mr Mills||Mr Stoner|
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Amendment agreed to.
Question—That the motion as amended be agreed to—put.
The House divided.
Mr J. H. Turner
Mr R. W. Turner
|Ms Andrews||Mr Brogden|
|Mr Aquilina||Mr Slack-Smith|
|Mr Mills||Mr Stoner|
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Motion as amended agreed to.