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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2219..


SUSPENSION OF STANDING ORDER 176

Motion (by Mr Humphries) agreed to, with the concurrence of an absolute majority:

That standing order 176 be suspended so that the order of the day, Executive business, relating to the Appropriation Bill 1995-96 can be called on forthwith.

APPROPRIATION BILL 1995-96

Debate resumed from 21 September 1995.

Detail Stage

MR SPEAKER: Standing order 180 sets down the order in which this Bill will be considered; that is, in the detail stage the Schedule must be considered before the clauses and, unless the Assembly otherwise orders, the Schedule will be considered by proposed expenditure in the order shown.

MR MOORE (3.52): Mr Speaker, pursuant to standing order 180, I move:

That consideration of the Schedule be taken as a whole.

Mr Speaker, I have made it very clear publicly that it is my opinion that it is appropriate for us to take $3.8m from the Treasurer's Advance and move it to division 180, government schooling. A series of legal opinions have been circulated to members. There are three main legal opinions. There is one from Terry Connolly, one from the Attorney-General's Department - in fact, you could say that there are two from the Attorney-General's Department - and one, the only independent one, from Colquhoun Murphy, which suggests the opposite to the other two opinions. The opinions presented by Mr Connolly and by the Attorney-General's Department hinge on the word "vote". It seems to me that by using the option that we have in standing order 180 we can take the Schedule as a whole and treat it as a single vote. I have flagged my intention to follow this motion, if it is successful, with a motion that the Assembly, when considering the Schedule as a whole, shall treat the Schedule as a single vote. That is my circulated amendment No. 2.

Up till now the Labor Party has basically said that they cannot take any other action to protect education because legal opinion - their own legal opinion, plus the one from the Attorney-General's Department - says that this is impossible to do. Mr Speaker, it clearly is not impossible to do. It hinges on the word "vote". If we take the Schedule as a whole and we consider it as a single vote, the Assembly will effectively define the word "vote".


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