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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2372..


MR MOORE (3.56): Mr Speaker, I rise to speak after that worm, Ms Follett, and the way she made her speech there.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Withdraw that.

MR MOORE: All right, Mr Speaker, I withdraw that. She is not even a worm.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Withdraw the word "worm" unconditionally.

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word "worm", in deference to you. Mr Speaker, you did ask for it to be withdrawn unconditionally. I withdraw the word "worm" unconditionally.

Mr Connolly: Michael, we are happy that that is in Hansard, because it shows you up.

MR MOORE: Thank you. The New South Wales Parliament for a long time had worked its way through things in a way that was considered to be consistent with Westminster, until there was a balance of power situation where there were a number of Independents who decided that they wanted to seek parliamentary reform. That parliamentary reform occurred at that time only because up until that time both the Labor and Liberal parties were prepared to work together and to put up with being in opposition, looking forward to the time they would be in government. The hypocrites on that side of the house in particular would now present this sort of argument so that they can do deals with the people on this side of the house in order to make some form of alliance. This is no surprise to people on the crossbenches because we know that deals are often done between Labor and Liberal if there comes a real question over power, where the Assembly may have power, rather than one or other of the major parties. That is why they do these sorts of deals.

In this circumstance, the Labor Opposition has been squirming its way around and through these issues. I just had something caught in my throat then, Mr Speaker, and the squirm seemed to get separated from the worm. They have been squirming because they realise that they have the opportunity to protect the education budget but they will not take it. Why will they not take it, Mr Speaker? It is a clear and blatant attempt by Rosemary Follett to go for power instead. She just needs to have the situation where we knock back the budget or knock back a line of the budget, and that will be considered as a no-confidence motion. They have the opportunity to support amendments, particularly with reference to education. The truth is that when they were in government they cut away at education, except for the one time when they were forced not to because an amendment was made to the budget, an amendment that they now propose to stop by this motion.

One has to wonder when Labor discovered these principles that Rosemary Follett is talking about. "We are the only ones who are prepared to stand up on principles", she says. Yet two of her colleagues yesterday were prepared to cross the floor in spite of a pledge they had made. When have they discovered these principles they supposedly operate on? It must have been in the last 15 or 20 seconds, if indeed they have discovered


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