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I have expressed my disappointment to the Greens on this score, so it will not come as a surprise to them that I do not accept the course they have decided to take in relation to this issue. Mr Moore has made a few points on the issue that I will not go over. All I need to say, in conclusion, is that we will not be supporting the move by the Greens.

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (10.52): The Government also will not be supporting the motion, because the Remuneration Tribunal has made a decision. The reason why the Remuneration Tribunal determines the salaries of politicians, senior public servants and members of boards is that that is the forum where this debate should be happening - at arm’s length from government, with all of the information on the table, and by a body that is not political and not part of this Assembly. Everyone is able, as Mr Berry said, to make submissions to that tribunal. I think one of the best things that ever happened in the political arena and amongst senior public servants and board members was the decision to move these sorts of decisions outside the political arena so that they can be made on the basis of fact rather than on political rhetoric or on stunts, as this obviously is.

There was no submission to the Remuneration Tribunal from the Greens. If they had wanted to put their case they could have done so in that arena. We believe strongly that what the Remuneration Tribunal determines is what this body should accept. As others have said, if that determination was a reduction in salary rates, if it was a change in the balance, whatever it was, we should accept the umpire's ruling. I think it is really quite tough to suggest that this body here should be debating what the Remuneration Tribunal determines for our senior public servants and board members. Any one of us here can knock back that increase. The Greens, whatever happens to this motion, can say that they do not want it, and that is fine; but for us even to suggest that it is okay for us to debate what senior public servants and others should get after an independent umpire has made a decision, I think, is totally unacceptable. This really shows, I think, that the Greens simply do not understand the system that we work with.

Again, I come back to the view that we have an independent umpire. As I pre-empted earlier this week, we will be moving, hopefully with the support of this house, to have an ACT Remuneration Tribunal, one that will have a much better understanding of the ACT, of us, and of the situations that occur in the ACT. I think that having an independent umpire will further improve the situation. The whole basis of having an umpire, whether in sport or a remuneration tribunal, is that you accept the decision.

MS HORODNY (10.54): Mr Speaker, I have come from a community group, as has Kerrie, where I have worked with hardworking individuals who receive little or no pay. Coming to this Assembly and earning the wage that we do, I have come to realise the real meaning of haves and have-nots. It is disappointing that, at a time when everyone is being asked to tighten their belts, people in this Assembly will not put their money where their rhetoric is.

MR OSBORNE (10.55): Mr Speaker, I am happy to support the motion as long as the Greens give back the cars, as they promised during the election.

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