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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2226 ..

Mr Moore: She wanted open government then.

MR BERRY: Indeed. It was a demand for open government. Things have changed since the election. She is now in the Executive, so the boot is on the other foot. She says, "We do not really care about the MLAs, and if we can keep them down they will not be much of a bother for us".

Mrs Carnell: What a lot of rubbish! I promise you that we have treated the Executive budget exactly the same way. The Executive budget is identical, except that we have to find your overspend in the Executive budget.

MR BERRY: You can cut the funding to ordinary members in this place and they will wear it, and the Executive will get off scot-free. You ought to be a little bit agitated about this, Mrs Carnell. Hypocrisy in the extreme, I would call it.

A few other things need to be drawn into focus as well. Mrs Carnell makes much of the fact that it was the decision of the Administration and Procedure Committee, not hers. First of all, the decision to cut funding was hers. So, in effect, the decision was hers.

Mrs Carnell: It costs $16.80 for cards. We can afford it.

MR BERRY: It was up to the Administration and Procedure Committee to find a solution to the problem which did not impact on the operations of MLAs in this place, the representatives of the people. You have forgotten your past very quickly, Mrs Carnell. It was fine to have open government and extra expenditure when you were an MLA, particularly if that extra expenditure and that open government suited you in opposition. Now you are in the Executive it is different.

Another thing I want to dwell on for a moment is Mrs Carnell's attitude to the parliament. I heard her say, "You only have to buy a few swipe cards and everything will be okay. Give them to a few of my senior executives". What a joke! Security in this place is a very important matter. As an MLA in this place, I do not want the Government's minions wandering around the corridors of this place with a free pass to go anywhere. This is the parliament, Mrs Carnell, in case you have not noticed, and it is where the representatives of the people are entitled to have security.

Mrs Carnell: I am the only one who is here at night.

MR BERRY: Giving a range of bureaucrats throughout the public service free access to the parliament is just not on. It cannot be done. What I think is paining you most is that you are going to have to share a little bit of the pain from the security arrangements which we have had to impose to ensure that this place is a proper parliament. I can see that you do not like it, but that is a problem for you. The responsibility lies with you. This Government has not provided adequate funding to the Assembly. The Assembly was forced to take the least painful course in determining how we would implement the salami slicing which you decided to impose upon the Assembly. No thought was given to the effect on the parliament; no thought was given to the effect on the representatives of the people. You were worrying about only yourself.

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