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MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (11.45): Let me say very briefly, Mr Speaker, that I think Mr Moore's amendment puts in place exactly the Liberal Party's approach to this Assembly, and that is that any proposed changes of this sort would come before the Assembly anyway. So, we are very happy to support the amendment. I think it would be an absolute tragedy if in this Assembly we passed anything that stopped anybody - whether it be a member of the Greens, the Independents, the Liberal Party or the Labor Party - from bringing to this place any issue that they want to debate or any area that they think could improve the way we do things in the Assembly, the way we legislate, the regulations or whatever. It would be contrary to the reason why we are here. We are here to attempt to make the ACT a better place to live in, to have better laws, to have better regulations and so on. So, to pass something that says that there will be no change for three years suggests either that we are perfect or that we simply cannot handle new ideas, and that is certainly not the case.

MR BERRY (11.46): The ideological position of the Liberals is beginning to glare through the old veneer. I heard Mrs Carnell saying this morning that this was not going to be an ideological government; but in her election promises she said, “A Liberal government will therefore legislate to provide for the automatic renewal of Canberra's residential and commercial leases at no cost to leaseholders”.

Mr Humphries: Legislate.

MR BERRY: But, in fact, Mr Speaker, they are able to do it without legislation. This motion is to head that off at the pass. We have done it, and no wonder they are peeved. They have been prevented from doing something administratively, which will now cause them to bring any matters back to this place for consideration by this Assembly. So, I think we have to get that matter clear. I wondered why Mr Humphries was so peeved by this and gave such a long and drawn out twist in this debate. I know that all of those people out there who have leases would be beating a path to his door saying, “Come on, when are you going to do it? Now you can do it administratively. Why do you not do it now? You can just do it”. The Liberals know that they could have done it; but they cannot now, because they have been headed off at the pass.

Mr Moore's amendment will be supported by Labor. It means that administrative action to give a little gift to some of their business mates cannot be effected; otherwise the Liberals will be in deep trouble. I think we have made the point. I understand why they are a bit upset about it. It is because some of their Liberal mates, who know and understand how these laws work, will not be able to get an administrative decision. It will have to be legislated. My assessment of the numbers around here is that they are not going to get away with their promise - and that suits us. I think, at the end of the day, this debate has been something which has resulted in the Liberals being brought to heel, because I am sure that they would have been pressured by their business mates to do this administratively. It is not as if they are stupid. It is not as if they would want a debate. It is not as if they do not understand the political flavour of this Assembly. They want an administrative decision. They certainly would not want one debated in this place, because they know what the result would be.

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