15 Sep 2004 questionsarchive

A supplementary question put forward to the Hon. P. HOLLOWAY regarding the Economic Development Board.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: As a supplementary question, do I take it from the minister’s response that the government does not expect to meet all the targets set by the Economic Development Board?

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: That is a ridiculous statement. The government would not set targets if it did not expect to meet them. I am saying that some of them will be very difficult to meet, and it may well be that we do not. It is a pity the honourable member did not attend the summit meetings organised by the Economic Development Board.

Certainly, her colleagues, such as the Leader of the Opposition, did attend and they would have heard from the state of Oregon—

The Hon. A.J. Redford interjecting:


The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: Which had its state strategic plan.

The Hon. A.J. Redford interjecting:


The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: The state of Oregon has had these targets for some 15 years or more—

The Hon. A.J. Redford interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! The Hon. Mr Redford will come to order.

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: Clearly, in relation to that, not all targets will be achieved.

The Hon. A.J. Redford interjecting:

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: I said it was a pity she had not been able to go. I am not saying they should invite everybody.

The Hon. A.J. Redford interjecting:


The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: This is exactly the case—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! There is too much interjection.

Breaches of standing orders 101 and 182 have been taking place all day, and I have noticed that they have always taken place during answers, and there have been no breaches during questions. It indicates to me that members on my left are breaching their own standing orders. I am going to take particular notice from now on. I expect the speaker who is asking the questions to be heard, and I expect the speaker answering the question to be heard in the same way.

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: Mr President, we can just see the tactics the opposition is using. In that case, I said it was a pity the honourable member did not go to the conference. Okay, maybe she could not go if she was not invited, but when I say something like that I immediately have it thrown back at me by the opposition as though I am in some way misleading it. This is exactly what is starting to happen in question time. I am not going to put up with this tactic where the opposition is continually seeking to misrepresent what is said, interjecting and trying to distort those answers. If members are going to take a very pedantic interpretation of what is said and restrict the free flowing debate, and if they want to turn this question time into a pedantic exercise, we can do that. But, I would like to think that question time would be a robust exercise where you should not have the sort of interjections like that which distort the point being made. I was simply making the point that, if the honourable member had been able to attend the conference, or if she—

The Hon. A.J. Redford: Why couldn’t she attend?

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: Let me put it this way. If only the members of the Liberal Party who were invited and who did go had kept the honourable member informed about what happened at that conference, then she would know that in Oregon a significant proportion of their targets were achieved and some were not. That was the ‘goad to action’ as it has been described. The point I am making is that there is no point in having targets that you can reach automatically, because that would not be the goad to action. The targets should be difficult, and that will mean that not all of them will be achieved; that is the reality. The expectation is to try to achieve every one, and this government will try to achieve every one of its targets, but the reality will undoubtedly be that, because these targets are stretch targets and a goad to action, we do not achieve them all. We will certainly be trying our best to achieve them all and, if we do not, we will expect to have good reasons.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: For my own benefit, will the minister bring back to this council a definition of ‘target’(something quite definitive), the difference between stretch targets and other targets, and to what degree the government relies on the ABS as a definitive authority?

The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: I suggest the honourable member consult the Concise Oxford Dictionary that is in this chamber for the best definition.