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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2220..


MR MOORE (continuing):


We have not done that. Nowhere is the word "vote" defined; rather, the word "vote" has been taken to have a series of different meanings. It is certainly within the powers of this Assembly, if enough members agree, to define it. That would lift the Labor Party in particular, and other members, out of this bind where they consider that their legal opinions prevent them from moving to protect our children. It is for those reasons, Mr Speaker, that I have suggested that we use our power under standing order 180 to consider the Schedule as a whole. That will provide us with an opportunity to do what is necessary to protect the education of our children.

We have heard Roberta McRae and indeed the Leader of the Opposition argue eloquently about why we need to have $3.8m added to education. We have heard the Chief Minister try to justify a bit of fancy accounting. She said, "The figures can all be accounted for. We are definitely increasing education funding. It is just that we have to get rid of college teachers and take a whole series of other actions because we have to find over $4.5m". If you have not cut anything, then why are we having to find money for education? We had a very weak explanation by the Chief Minister. She said, "We have to open schools and a few other things". By no stretch of the imagination was that an answer to the questions. She knows as well as I do that the figures set out first by the department were reviewed by the Australian Education Union and, using a very different methodology, the P and C council, and that came up with a similar figure - about $3.8m.

The challenge is for the Labor Party, for once, to actually support education and to stop the rot that we have had to put up with from them for five of six years when they cut education. Now they can stand up and, for once, support education. There is a method for doing that and they ought to support it. To do so would require supporting this motion, which is within our standing orders.

MR SPEAKER: Assembly standing order 180 makes provision for the consideration of appropriation Bills for the ordinary annual services of the Executive. It provides that the Schedule expressing the services for which the appropriation is to be made shall be considered before the clauses and, unless the Assembly otherwise orders, the Schedule shall be considered by proposed expenditures in the order in which they are shown. The practice in the Assembly has been to consider Part II of the Schedule by division.

Mr Moore has circulated two motions. The first motion, which he has moved, proposes that the Schedule be taken as a whole. It certainly is in order to move that the Schedule be taken as a whole and for the Assembly to so order. However, to provide by way of order of the Assembly or by resolution for the Schedule as a whole to be taken as a "vote" as proposed in the second motion, irrespective of the problems this creates in respect of provisions of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act, would require a suspension of standing order 201 at least. The provisions of standing order 180 permit the Assembly to "otherwise order" but permit it to do so only in relation to the order in which the Schedule is considered, not in relation to the definition of "vote" or otherwise. The second motion is therefore out of order.


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