Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2352 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
That matter was taken very seriously by members of the Assembly, Mr Osborne, and I moved a motion of no confidence in Mr Wood. That motion of no confidence was then amended by the then Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Carnell, moving that the motion of no confidence be not just in Mr Wood but also in the Treasurer. That was carried. The motion was amended yet again by Mr Stevenson, to change it from a no-confidence motion to a censure motion. The Government at that stage were refusing to obey the direction of the Assembly and were censured.
That still was not enough to get the Government to modify their budget. The then Chief Minister and Treasurer, Rosemary Follett, simply refused to change their budget. The only way that they would change their budget turned out to be by an amendment to a clause in the budget. That amendment was moved by Mr Cornwell. It was moved by you, Mr Speaker. That amendment was ruled on at the time by the then Speaker, Ms McRae. Ms McRae said that it was in order. She had looked at the matter over lunchtime. In fact, she suspended the Assembly from 3.36 pm to 4.02 pm on 25 November in order to rule on the amendment.
When the sitting resumed Mr Humphries asked, "Well, what is your ruling, Madam Speaker?", after she asked whether there were any other points of order. She said:
I told you that I was inclined to rule it in order and then listen to any further points of order. If there are no points of order, I rule it in order; and Mr Cornwell can proceed.
Mr Cornwell then argued why it was that it was in order and at that stage Madam Speaker intervened and said:
I have just ruled on that, Mr Cornwell.
So it was ruled in order. Mr Osborne, there certainly have been precedents set. One of the speakers at the time of the amendment to the Appropriation Bill had these words to say, and you will find them at page 4192 of Hansard of 25 November 1993:
So this Assembly, on behalf of the will of the people in Canberra, carried a motion requiring that that action not be taken. Mr Wood said that it was an important motion, but proceeded to say - I paraphrase - that he would not take any notice of it. Then we passed a motion censuring Mr Wood and the Treasurer. It was said very clearly that we did not want this reduction of teachers. We called on that decision to be reversed, but it was not reversed.
Ms Follett: I have a point of order, Mr Speaker. I hesitate to interrupt your coalition partner, but could it not be the case - - -
MR SPEAKER: Order! I think you should withdraw that, Ms Follett.