Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2377 ..
MR BERRY (continuing):
It comes down to this: It is a most inappropriate course to try to develop these sorts of amendments to a government's budget when you give them your vote of support on day one when you elect the Chief Minister. You say, "Chief Minister, you have your hands on the levers. We understand your philosophy, and away you go". If you do not get their promises in writing, and it is obvious that you have not, you pay the consequences. (Extension of time granted)
I conclude by reinforcing an issue that I do not think has been widely publicised out in the community. The community have, by and large, been misled by the publicity surrounding these attempts to amend the Government's budget, and I think mischievously so. I think this has been a public relations exercise that has to be reversed. The Westminster system, as we know it, works very clearly on executive government. Mr Moore, Mr Osborne and the ACT Greens have elected an executive government with all the powers and the levers that go with that, and they have to be left to get on with their job, so far as this Assembly will allow them. That is the point I think is most important - so far as this Assembly will allow them. When Mr Moore, Mr Osborne and the Greens get sick of this conservative Government, when they get sick of what they are doing to education, when they get sick of what they are doing to community health services, when they get sick of what they are doing to our schools, maybe they will do something about it and be honest with themselves. No more of this grandstanding. Let us get on with the job of being honest about politics in this place. They put this Government there. They endorsed the budget.
MR OSBORNE (4.17): Is it not funny how things turn and how stories get changed by Mr Berry, blaming me for this Government? I said prior to the election, when all the polls were showing the Labor Party in front, that if I got elected I would support the party that won the most votes. Unfortunately, Mr Berry, you did not. I will count them one more time: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven; one, two, three, four, five, six. I will do it again. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven; one, two, three, four, five, six. Even for me, a front rower, seven beats six every time.
I rise in support of Mr Moore's amendment. I will not talk for long because I can count, as I just said, and the numbers are not looking good. However, I would like to say that what I see happening here, from the Government's point of view - certainly they are not being anything at all like a council; certainly they are not being open and consultative - is a coalition between the two major parties. The two major parties are getting together and clinging onto their last bastion. This is a minority Assembly; yet it is not treated as such. I will be supporting Mr Moore, and I am very disappointed, I have to say, Mr Speaker, with the attitude of both your party and the Opposition.
I would like to say one thing about my amendment, which does not look like getting up. Prior to the election, I said that there were three main areas I was concerned about: Law and order, health and education. I did speak with Mr Moore only last week about these three things. Rather than amend every single bit of the budget, we both agreed that these were the three service delivery areas we would fight for. The police are okay. We missed out on a police station in Tuggeranong; they did not get the $1m they were promised by your Government - I am told, because they did not ask, but they did not get it. Mr Moore has adequately stood up for the teachers, and I felt the need to stand up for the nurses. Unfortunately, the Labor Party has had the opportunity to do something