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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 5 May 2005 2005) . . Page.. 1847 ..


and advocated for the ACT. So, if you are concerned about the grants commission, let us have the Treasurer and the Chief Minister advocating with the grants commission, rather than giving Mr Gentleman or one of his cohort a pay rise.

Of course, also mentioned in the motion is the great scourge that causes everything from piles to the breakdown of civilisation as we know it—the introduction of VSU. The introduction of VSU is said to be having a huge impact on working families. If this government were really interested in working families, the Liberal opposition would be signing up to this today. If this government were really interested in working families, they would adjourn this debate and actually take up my offer of negotiating reasonable terms of reference that include involving the crossbenchers, if they wish to be involved. Then we would have a reasonable inquiry. But, at this stage, what this is about is a rhetorical flourish, as Dr Foskey said to me earlier. I use her term because it is a good term.

This is really only about an opportunity to bash the commonwealth and we will not be a part of it. If the government is really interested in looking after working families, I propose that we adjourn this debate, have a discussion and bring the motion back in June with proper terms of reference.

Motion (by Mr Mulcahy) put:

That the debate be adjourned.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 9

Mrs Burke

Mr Seselja

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Ms Porter

Dr Foskey

Mr Stefaniak

Ms Gallagher

Mr Quinlan

Mr Mulcahy

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Mr Pratt

Mr Hargreaves

Question so resolved in the negative.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.15): I like the way the Clerk carefully counts the numbers when we have a division like that, as though somebody else has appeared in the other team. I am also conscious that my own vote is probably the only one that is not really predictable and I feel that that puts me in an interesting spot.

I voted for adjournment of the debate on this motion. I agree with Mrs Dunne on a number of the points that she raised; in particular, that it would not hurt to put it over until June. It certainly would not hurt. I see it as a bit of doggedness on behalf of the government that it will not consider any change to its plans, due to the fact that it has the weight of numbers. We all know that this committee is unlikely to get up and running before all the estimates committee process is over anyway. So I cannot see the point in opposing that adjournment. In fact, it is a big disappointment to me.


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