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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2336 ..

Mr Humphries: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I am not particularly happy to sit here listening to Ms Follett buttressing her flagging leadership of the Labor Party by showing what a tough woman she is, taking the kinds of tough stands that we have not seen from her in the last six months. The Assembly has better things to do than going on with this kind of rubbish.

MR SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order.

Mr Connolly: On a point of order: I object to Mr Humphries making pointless political points of order like that in order to try to hide from the attack Ms Follett is making on this Government.

Mr Kaine: I would like to take up this point of order, Mr Speaker. We have before us a motion which the proponent has finished speaking to. She has made no case. I suggest that we get on with the business of the Assembly.

MS FOLLETT: I have not finished speaking to it.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Continue, Ms Follett.

MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, the fact of the matter is that in its formulation of the 1995 budget the Government has effectively consulted nobody and has listened to nobody. They have simply set out with their own agenda, and in relation to education, mental health and any number of other issues their agenda has not been to support the needs of our community. There are any number of other issues where we could be looking to require the Government to amend its budget - the issue of libraries, for instance. I believe that there is a disgraceful reduction in the funding to libraries. There is the issue of the protection of public sector jobs. The Government has clearly not listened to anybody and it is reaping the industrial consequences of that.

This Government came into office on the promise of an open and consultative style of government. What we have seen is nothing less than a display of arrogance and a blind adherence to their own Liberal agenda. They have taken no account whatsoever of the fact that there are other parties represented in this Assembly, other parties whose support they rely upon to be in government. They have taken no notice whatsoever of the fact that within this Assembly they must respond to the will of this Assembly. They have simply ignored their obligations in relation to the parliament. I find that a really foolhardy act.

The worst of it is that it is the Canberra community which has suffered. It is the education community who are suffering. It is the mental health community who are suffering. It is the public sector generally who are copping it in the neck from this Government. And it is all because they will not have the humility, they will not have the commonsense, to listen to what is being said to them. While ever the Assembly lets them get away with that, I have no doubt that that will continue to be their stance. I think it is extremely regrettable that as a government they appear to have got away with it so far.

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