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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2371 ..

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, the point of order stands, and I would ask that the imputation be withdrawn.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Would you mind withdrawing, Ms Follett?

MS FOLLETT: I withdraw any imputation, Mr Speaker. I will say that Mr Humphries has finally discovered some measure of accuracy in his perception of the Government's role. Mr Humphries has many times exhorted my colleagues to amend the budget. He knows as well as I do, in fact by his own statements to date, how unprincipled such an action would have been; but Mr Humphries is also amongst the Liberals who claimed that they came to government on a promise of open and consultative government. I am quite sure that that is what they promised to the people who supported them for government - to Mr Osborne, to Mr Moore and to the Greens.

I say again to those four people on the crossbenches: If this is your idea of open and consultative government, it is certainly not mine. As I have said before, when it came to the crunch, when it came to taking real action that would force the Government to comply with the Assembly's views of this budget, those people have squibbed out. They have not been prepared to do anything other than posture on motions which they knew full well would be ruled out, which from the very outset, Mr Speaker, your own statements and the Government's legal opinion made very doubtful. When presented with an alternative proposition, that is, to vote against lines of the budget, they have not supported that course of action because they were worried that it might work. They were worried that it might actually force the Government to take some action. Those are the facts of the matter, Mr Speaker. I am fed up, on behalf of the Labor Party, with being the only group in this place that has principles and sticks to them. I am totally fed up with it, Mr Speaker.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, if Ms Follett is serious about that, then I will withdraw this motion and she can face the consequences of having these amendments moved by Mr Moore on the floor of the chamber. Would you like me to do that?

MS FOLLETT: It is your motion.

Mr Humphries: No. Would you like me to do that? I am very happy to do so. Just say so and I will. You can prove your principles on the floor, Rosemary.

MS FOLLETT: Do not be childish. Mr Speaker, when faced with the truth, of course these people react badly. Of course they do not want to have to proceed with a motion that they know is embarrassing to them. I am just pointing out the facts. They themselves have constantly exhorted people to amend the budget, knowing it could not be done, or should not be done, and now they are faced with the consequences of their own actions and have had to move in this way. Of course we support these principles, but I am fed up with our being the only party that does, and I trust that in future we will see a far more responsible course of action coming from the Government and a far more realistic appraisal of the bed that they have made for themselves by the crossbenches.

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