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so that we do not discover these things simply by accident. Let the Chief Minister and her Ministers tell us what is going on. Finally, I mention that, once again, there is no suggestion of consultation. I say that, in particular, because the Liberal Party and the Chief Minister are persistently saying, as they did before the election, that they will talk to people and consult with them. Yet time and time again, in the short life of this Government, we have found that that simply does not happen.
MR KAINE (4.30): The subject matter of Mr Berry's matter of public importance today is a subject that is worthy of debate in this place. It has nothing to do with what this Government or any other government might do now, what it might have done in the past or what it might do in the future. The fact is that Namadgi National Park is a great public asset and it is appropriate that we occasionally discuss matters of this kind, exchange views and come to some agreement on how this asset should be dealt with in the future. Therefore, it is an interesting and worthwhile debate. From the debate so far, it is quite clear that there are different opinions about what public management means and perhaps what even public ownership means. It is appropriate that we clarify these issues, because of the importance of the subject matter, and that we all know in which direction we are going. Whether or not we all agree, it is a good thing that we get our views on the table so that people both in this place and outside of it know what our thinking is.
There is a matter of great concern to me, however, Mr Speaker, that is peripheral to this debate, and it is reflected in the motion that Mr Berry intends to put to the Assembly at the end of this debate. This is not the only instance of this kind. In February this year we had an election, and the people of Canberra spoke quite strongly, saying that they wanted a change in government and they wanted a change in direction. In other words, what the Labor Government had been doing for 4½ of the last six years was unacceptable to the community. They were looking for new initiatives, fresh thinking and new directions from government, and that is why today the Liberals sit on this side of the house and Labor sits on the other side.
There is a very disturbing thing happening, Mr Speaker. Members of the Assembly who are not elected to the Government of this Territory are attempting to circumscribe what this Government can do. The motion foreshadowed by Mr Berry proposes that the Assembly reject any moves by the ACT Government to hand over or privatise the management of Namadgi National Park. That would purport to prevent this Government from making any change whatsoever in the way Namadgi National Park is managed. Only this morning we had a motion from Ms Horodny that would prevent the Government from doing anything to change the way in which ACTION buses are managed. Of course, Mr Wood has a motion on the notice paper - which I will not reflect upon, since I am not permitted to do so under the standing orders - that would prevent this Government from making any change to the regime of betterment tax. How far does this go? How far do we permit the responsibility and the authority of executive government to be eroded and circumscribed by people who are not part of the Government, by people in particular, Mr Speaker, who only three months ago were rejected by the electorate for their management? In other words, the electorate did not want the dead hand of the Labor Party on the management of this Territory any more - not for the time being, anyway. Yet we have these backdoor techniques being used to prevent this new Government from doing what must be done.