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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2370..


MS FOLLETT (continuing):

Finally, I believe that the motion before us is also intended to protect the Government from itself. We have had time and time again across the floor from this Government the taunt, "Amend the budget". We have had it from Mrs Carnell, we have had it from Mr De Domenico, we have had it from Mr Humphries. In fact, it occurred at question time today. Everybody in this chamber clearly heard Mr De Domenico throw across the comment to the Opposition, "Amend the budget. Amend the budget". So part of the rationale for this motion has to be to protect the Government from its own irresponsibility, from its own empty posturing, and from its own untruthfulness in throwing those kinds of taunts around.

Whilst I abhor the motivation for this motion, I do believe, as Mr Connolly has said, that it is correct in principle. I can say also to Mr Moore, to Mr Osborne, and to the Greens, that they have brought this motion upon themselves. They put the Liberals into government, and this is the Government you have supported. This is the Government that was supported by all four members on the crossbenches. This is the Government whom all of those members have been urging quite fruitlessly to change their budget. The fact of the matter is that none of those four members has taken any action that would in any way threaten the Government's budget. In fact, when they have been put to the test they have made it very clear that they will support the budget at the end of the day, regardless of what is in it, regardless of what it does to education, regardless of what it does to mental health, or any of the other issues they have been grandstanding on.

They have made it very clear that they will not support a censure motion on the Government for not having implemented the Estimates Committee's report. They will not support it for not having implemented the vote of the Assembly on the Estimates Committee. Mr Moore has said frequently, and so has Mr Osborne, that the Government deserves its budget. Then they have tried to have two bob each way and fix up the budget afterwards. This is the Government you have supported. This is that Government's budget and, if it does nothing else, this motion forces you to live with it, to face the reality of what you have taken on.

I also believe that in moving this motion Mr Humphries has finally found some measure of honesty in government.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I would ask for that to be withdrawn. I think that is most unparliamentary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, there is a Hansard quote from Mr Humphries saying that he had to be honest now that he was in opposition. I think it has long been acknowledged by Mr Humphries himself that he was to the contrary in government. I think it really is a little bit precious of him to rise to the bait.


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