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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 2228 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Mr Kaine can stand up here, as he did earlier today, and say, "I have not lost any money from my staffing". That is quite right. We believe that that would be an entirely inappropriate way to proceed with this cut. Yes, it is inconvenient in terms of security. There is an inconvenience. However, as Mr Berry put it, the least painful way for us to deal with the cut was to recommend to the Speaker that that was the way that it should be dealt with.

Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister likes to practise this fancy accounting footwork. I do not know where she gets it from. Wherever she gets it from, she is swallowing the whole lot of it. It is the same sort of fancy accounting footwork that she is doing with education. We know, and the community knows, that you are actually cutting the Assembly and that you are actually cutting education. We will come to education in a little while. It is an irresponsible act. Clearly, it is going to be carried in this Assembly; but Mrs Carnell ought to consider very carefully, in her forward projections, just how she is going to treat the Assembly. It may well be the case one of these days, Mrs Carnell, that you find yourself sitting on the backbench in opposition, or on the backbench in government - that might happen even more quickly - and you will realise that having the ability to scrutinise things is, indeed, a critical factor in open government, and, dare I say it, a critical factor in a council-style government, whatever you meant by that during the election.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (4.30): Mr Speaker, I have to say that I am rather glad that there are members of the press gallery present for this debate, because it is quite edifying for them and for members of the public to see members of the Assembly, in the face of a budget which makes no apologies for having to tighten the collective belt of the Territory, standing up here and specially pleading for themselves to be treated differently from the rest of the ACT government work force.

Mr Moore: You supported the Estimates Committee that added money to the Legislative Assembly last time.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, the allegation has been made, against both me and the Chief Minister, that we supported a recommendation that there be supplementation to the Assembly budget. I asked during an earlier part of the debate when this occurred. I am told that it occurred during the debate on the 1992-93 Appropriation Bill.

Mr Moore: It was 1993-94.

Ms McRae: It was 1993-94.

MR HUMPHRIES: I asked before and you said 1992-93. Mr Speaker, I was told before that it was 1992-93. I have looked through the 1992-93 report and there is no recommendation relating to the Legislative Assembly. I will look at the 1993-94 report as well. If it is not there either, then I will make a further statement by leave. If you say that it is 1994-95, or 1989-90 or something, I will look there as well.

Mr Speaker, I do not believe that it is appropriate to exempt members of the Assembly from a process that we are imposing on other members of this ACT government work force. We are asking people to tighten their belts. Yes, that is true. Yes, Mr Moore, we are reducing the budget in this respect.

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