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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2373..


MR MOORE (continuing):

them at all. The truth of the matter is that all they are trying to do is protect themselves from not having their own budgets amended. When they get into government, if they ever do, they do not want their budgets fiddled with, so they are going to make sure that the Assembly as a whole cannot have any say in it. So much for that side of the house.

As for the Government, these are the same people who went to an election talking about council-style government, open government - all those things. I have circulated an amendment to the motion which would really test it. It says, "No, we are not interested in Westminster government". Let us test your policies. My foreshadowed amendment suggests council-style government instead of Westminster government - council-style government embodied in Liberal Party policy. I have even used your policy, which allows full participation by all members of the Assembly, because that is what this is about. It should be clear to your Government, it should be absolutely clear to you, that a majority of members of this house believe that you have underspent on education by $3.8m, and you will not budge. It is a great shame that you will not budge and it is a shame that you people will not force them to budge.

You can do it, you can do it clearly and you can do it without hiding behind a few legal opinions, by making sure that it is done in this Assembly. How could you do it? The legal opinion you had from the Attorney-General's Department, after looking at a couple of High Court precedents, namely, Cormack v. Cope in 1974 and WA v. the Commonwealth in 1995, 69 ALJR, 309 at 331, draws this conclusion:

I think it is more likely that the Courts would not interfere in relation to section 65 because the internal workings of the Assembly, like other parliaments, are traditionally considered non-justiciable.

Why is that the case and what does it mean? It means that we could make this decision here today to amend the budget and nobody can do anything about it. The Government would have to fall into line. You can deliver on education; but you come up with this sort of hypocrisy, you do these sorts of deals with the Government, so that you do not have to do it. You love to cut education; you have done it again and again, and you continue to do it. When you have the opportunity to do it, you squirm your way around, you find these sorts of legal opinions, and you read them the way you want to. You know that you can do something about it and you will not do anything. You want to play games; you want to corner the crossbenchers to try to force us to vote against the budget so that you have a chance for government. You are still dirty about being kicked out. You have not accepted that there was a 10 per cent swing against you. Why was there a 10 per cent swing against you? Because you did things like cutting education, and you did basically nothing else. That is why you had a 10 per cent swing against you, that is why the government changed, and you have not faced up to it yet.

When did you start to get a bit of life into you? You started to get a bit of life into you when the current Leader of the Opposition was under threat. We did not hear beep about this sort of stuff until then. I am sure members recognise as the truth - the Labor ones probably will not admit it - that the first time we hear beep out of you is when suddenly it becomes the case that Rosemary Follett's leadership is under threat, it looks like Terry Connolly is going to be the leader or perhaps Andrew Whitecross, depending on how the numbers go. You cannot get the numbers between you, so what do we get?


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