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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2193..


MR MOORE (continuing):

The next interesting thing is that we get Mr Kaine talking about precedent and convention. Mr Kaine's party moved an amendment to the 1993-94 budget that said:

The Executive shall not use money appropriated by this, or any other, Act for the purposes of reducing:

(a) the number of persons employed as teachers in schools or colleges in the Territory; or

(b) the number of teaching hours provided overall in those schools and colleges taken as a whole.

That amendment was passed. The precedent was set. What was the effect of that? The effect of that was to blow the education budget and therefore to transfer money from the Treasurer's Advance to the education budget. That is what happened. I think Mr Wood, who was Minister for Education at the time, made it clear in this house that if that motion was passed he would not be able to meet his budget requirements. So, in fact, it was the Liberal Party that set the precedent of putting amendments to the budget. At that time, Mr Speaker, I agonised for some time over whether I would support that or not - I agonised over the process that we are talking about now - or whether I would protect education. The decision that I came down with at the time was that it was more important to protect education.

There are only 17 members in this house and it is possible for us to sort things out, to look at a budget and to have more involvement in preparing the budget. Like the Greens, Mr Speaker, I would prefer that involvement to occur before the budget process. Indeed, I was involved in it before the budget process. I made it very clear that I would do whatever I could to stop cuts to education. I made it clear in the election. I made it clear prior to the budget process. I made it clear in the budget process. I made it clear in the Estimates Committee. I made it clear, as I said earlier today, every day for the last couple of weeks to Mrs Carnell, and I will continue to do that. I will support this motion because it just might help a little to restore the money to education; but I do so, Mr Speaker, recognising that there is an awful lot of doubletalk going on in this Assembly at the moment.

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a personal explanation under standing order 46.

MR SPEAKER: Leave is granted.

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, Mr Moore just said that I had misstated fact because it was, in fact, the Liberal Party that established a precedent for changing the budget. Mr Speaker, that is not the case. The Leader of the Opposition obviously has forgotten the year 1990-91 when the then Estimates Committee report, prepared largely by the then Opposition, made a recommendation that from 1 January 1991 the Government increase the amount available for capital grants for distribution to sporting and other community organisations. The Leader of the Opposition obviously has forgotten a great deal that happened in the past. The precedent, if there is one, was established in 1990-91, and not by the Liberals.


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