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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2377..

DR FOSKEY (continuing):

the act of interjecting and I have to say that it did not look particularly nice. I was not happy that I had allowed myself to become so antagonised.

That kind of squabbling does us all a disservice. I hope I do not do that again even when, as I fully expect, my equanimity is sorely tested in the future. However, I am not promising that I will not do it again. I feel passionately about a number of issues; so I cannot guarantee constant decorum, though I would like to behave in an ideal way.

Misrepresentations and high school debating tactics, like asserting that if someone praises the attributes of small schools it automatically implies that he or she thinks the opposite about large schools, is a shallow and opportunistic form of argument that does not improve debate in this Assembly and does nothing to keep interjections to a minimum. I thank members for giving me leave yesterday to table my bill calling for a moratorium, despite the fact that due to those events and others I was not in the chamber at the appropriate time.


MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (5.38): Once again I would like to inform members of the Liberal opposition's policy on pairs. On 7 December 2004 in the adjournment debate I made a statement relating to pairs. At that time I wrote to the government whip and I followed that up in June 2005 with another letter to the government whip about the operation of pairs and the way in which this opposition believes they should operate.

I have never received a formal acknowledgment or reply to either of those letters. However, the government whip seems to understand the opposition's policy because from time to time when I remind her of it she acknowledges its existence. Let me remind members of what I said on 7 December 2004:

I want to place on the record that the Liberal opposition will not be going down that path.

I was referring to the path down which other oppositions have gone by not providing pairs. I also said:

We will continue to provide for the gentlemen's agreement about maintaining voting ratios and will always provide pairs in the case of illness of a member or close family member, for other personal needs that members may have and for ministers to attend ministerial councils and other related business, and their reasonable travel. Just because you are going to a ministerial council-I want it put on the record-you do not get an early pass to go shopping in Sydney or Melbourne beforehand.

Perhaps now we have to add Wellington to that list. I then said:

There is often business before ministerial councils and we would allow for that, but it has to be reasonable.

I talked about some changes to the higher need for pairs that we experienced in the last Assembly because we were now bundying off at 6 o'clock, and I went on to say:

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