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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2468 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

It is a position that is taken purely in order to reduce public sector jobs, to reduce the security of people in their employment. Madam Deputy Speaker, they are seeing the results in the industrial action that is being taken. I have heard the Deputy Chief Minister and the Chief Minister making disparaging remarks about the industrial action that is being taken. They would deny people even the opportunity to try to protect their own jobs. I think that is absolutely disgraceful.

Before concluding I would like to respond to some of the comments on this matter that were made by the Greens. I repeat what Mr Berry said: This is the Liberals' budget. It is the budget of a Liberal government. If the Greens or anybody else do not like this aspect of the budget they have the option of voting against it. You can vote against this line in the budget, or against the education line in the budget, and force the Government to change their minds. You can force the Government to come back with a position that you can support. Instead of trying to blame all your own problems on the Labor Party, which is in opposition, I would suggest to you that if you are serious about trying to influence the party that you have put into government you take that action. Madam Deputy Speaker, I think that is the most appropriate action for these members to take. Clearly, their attempts to negotiate and to consult with this Government on a budget that they could support have failed.

Mr Connolly: They are taken for granted.

MS FOLLETT: They are taken for granted. The Liberals, I think, are calling the bluff of the crossbenchers. It is open to the crossbenchers to respond in the only appropriate way, and that is to vote against this line. That is what I will be doing, Madam Deputy Speaker. That is what I urge them to do as well.

MR MOORE (11.05): What a wonderful invitation from the Chief Minister - from the would-be Chief Minister! That was a little slip of the tongue, a little Freudian slip. These things just come out. All we have to do is take a little bite of this apple. All we have to do is vote against one line of the budget and all will be well. Mr Humphries made it very clear earlier today that, if there is a vote against the budget, they will resign, that will be it, and then we will have to find a new Chief Minister. Who could that be? I wonder whom we have in mind? In fact, what we could easily have done - and I showed you again and again how to do it, but no, you were not interested in how we could deal with this - was to follow the process you would expect to find in a local council or in an organisation like ours whereby we could have amended the budget. But no, you would not do that, because that way there was no chance whatsoever that you would get to be Chief Minister. So cut out the duplicitous nonsense that you go on with.

The questions I still have to ask about the Urban Services budget include: What is going on about our milk bottles? That is indeed a most important question.

Mr Berry: That comes under Business; it has gone.

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