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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 1856 ..

MR BERRY (11.46): We have just heard from Mr Humphries a diatribe about efficiency, savings and all the sorts of things that you would expect from a Liberal government. He also had a shot at Labor about its views on the private sector. Labor is a great supporter of the private sector. It always has been. We also believe that people who are elected to this place have to take on responsibility. That is what this Government has refused to do. What they are trying to do is palm off their responsibility to other people, all under the guise of efficiency, lower costs and savings. All you see in their eyes is a steely glint. They are not interested in the human issues.

I want to put in a special plea for the kids, because they are the people being lost sight of in this argument. It is all about economic rationalism. It is about a cold-hearted approach to the bottom line. It is not about an interest in the young kids. I want to put in a special plea for them. I also want to emphasise the need - - -

Mr Humphries: Pass me a bucket.

MR BERRY: Mr Humphries, what an outrageous interjection! He says, "Pass me the bucket". Anybody not concerned about the youngsters who use this place demonstrates where they are coming from.

Ms McRae: Cheapskates.

MR BERRY: Ms McRae hits the nail on the head. They are a bunch of cheapskates who are not interested in the human issues. There has been a lack of public scrutiny of the process. The Government promised the community that it would be open, consultative and all of those things. We heard all the warm, fluffy tones. Yet the moment they get their hands on the levers the steely glint comes into their eyes and they start worrying about the bottom line instead of the people.

This inquiry is about people who were elected to this place having the opportunity to make recommendations in relation to the future provision of services in the Territory and about the Government's ability or otherwise to take on the responsibilities that they were elected for. How many times have we seen this Government flag opportunities to divest itself of its responsibilities? Mr Humphries spoke at length on this issue. It was but a few weeks ago that Mr Humphries was trying to give away Namadgi. And the list goes on, to use Mrs Carnell's language. This is an example of human issues being totally lost sight of.

I would issue a plea to you to have some regard for the kids, some regard for the democratic processes and some regard for the people who have been elected to this place and their rights to scrutinise the minority Government's decisions in relation to this matter and whether it is appropriate for the Government to duck its responsibilities on this score in the interests of the bottom line.

MS TUCKER (11.51), in reply: I have to clarify once again a point that other members have had to clarify. There was at no time any intention by the Greens to cast aspersions on Richmond Fellowship. I think I made that quite clear in my speech, but it is still being brought up as a problem. Mr Stefaniak talked about the correctness of the tendering process. I thought I also covered that in my speech. Even if it is correct,

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