Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (3.13 pm): Today I rise to talk about birthday presents. Members seated in this part of the chamber know that Tuesday was my birthday. On Tuesday morning I was quite surprised when the Manager of Opposition Business, the member for Mulgrave, gave notice that later that afternoon the opposition would move a motion to discuss the performance of the failed Labor Party government over the previous 14 years.
I thought, ‘Wow, somebody has told him about my birthday. What a wonderful present! I will get the opportunity to stand up and talk about what the Labor Party has done over the past 14 years.’ I then started making some notes. I had a word with the whip, but unfortunately I was a bit slow; my esteemed colleagues on the front bench had jumped in and taken all the speaking spaces. With the indulgence of the House, I will chat about that right now.
What did the Manager of Opposition Business propose? He said that the Labor Party had invested in the necessary infrastructure for the state over the past 14 years. I started to think about the sort of infrastructure in my area of the Gold Coast. Obviously, the biggest thing down there at the moment is the desal plant. In 2005, the Gold Coast City Council decided that it needed a desal plant for emergency purposes. It allocated $165 million to the facility. When the water in this state started to dry up because of Labor policies, the then Labor government stuck its head up and decided that it would pinch that facility from the Gold Coast City Council.
What did the Labor government end up spending on the facility? It doubled the size of it, so one would think it might double the amount of money spent on it. But no! It spent $1.2 billion.
Mr Minnikin: How much?
Mr HART: $1.2 billion, which is seven times the Gold Coast City Council’s projected cost for that facility. What exactly are we getting for that? On the Gold Coast we are getting a big building that is making a lot of noise and a lot of vibration but is not pumping much water. What else did the Labor Party do?
Mr Crandon: You have 20 seconds.
Mr HART: This is going to be a little short, then. What did I learn on that day? I learned that it is very important that you talk to the party whip on the day of your birthday, because you never know when somebody will hand you a present.