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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 4069..

MR MOORE (continuing):

There are devices that we as members should discuss. Perhaps we should go to the general public seeking ideas as to how we can even set about setting a precedent for other parliaments, as we have in adopting accrual accounting methods. Every time there is a change, for example, by the Remuneration Tribunal, it requires a decision by the Chief Minister. This has never caused a problem up until now, but there could well be problems if a Chief Minister says, "That is your budget; it is going to stay that way", and the Remuneration Tribunal creates a situation where extra funding is required, so that the net result is that the Assembly has to look around for other ways to find savings. For a number of years this Assembly has been finding savings, along with the rest of the bureaucracy.

It has been a very awkward situation because, unlike the rest of the bureaucracy, the Assembly was created such a very short time ago and was created as a lean and mean - particularly mean - system in this environment. Mr Speaker, through a range of Speakers, you and Ms McRae in particular, very efficient systems have been retained, so much so that my understanding is that this Assembly has a per capita cost that is less than half of those of other parliaments. That is how the people of Canberra would want it; but we have to keep in mind that democratic processes are costly. The cheapest way of handling this, of course, is simply to have a beneficent dictator. Whilst I would be quite happy to offer my services in that way should the time come, I think the opportunity would be very slim in this community.

Mr Speaker, people expect a great deal of members and of the Assembly. It is only with the appropriate support for members of the Opposition and members of the crossbenches that we will continue to get a very healthy democracy. Therefore, it is my contention that we have to be very careful to ensure that this line in the budget is not reduced, and that we have to find a way to separate it more clearly from other Government finances and from the control of the Cabinet.

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I would like to make a personal explanation pursuant to standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Proceed.

MR BERRY: Mr Moore should have a little bit more regard for the facts when he makes claims about people.

MR SPEAKER: Never mind about that. Make the personal explanation.

MR BERRY: He said that I had driven a Fairlane in the First Assembly. I do not find anything particularly sinful or wrong with driving a Fairlane. I am sure that a Fairlane is a quite good car for all those people who have one. They probably enjoy having one, but I have never had one. In fact, in the First Assembly Rosemary Follett and I were the only ones in the Government who never had them. I heard Mr Moore boring it up Ms Horodny some time ago about her misleading the Assembly.

MR SPEAKER: Order! This is a personal explanation. We are not interested in what Mr Moore said to Ms Horodny.

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