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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3090 ..

MS HORODNY (continuing):

Mr Speaker, one of the benefits of minority government is that it is one step towards overcoming yes-no politics. There is not just a majority who can sweep things through. Some compromise and finetuning of proposals could be the norm, not the exception. The Greens see this as very healthy for democracy. There is an opportunity to look at the subtleties of in-between positions. In CIR there will be no such opportunity. CIR does not provide an opportunity for negotiation, compromise or consideration of other alternatives. CIR cannot answer complex questions and issues that affect people's lives at an everyday level. Only a community development style of public participation can address issues such as how we want our suburbs or shopping centres to develop.

The Greens believe that this is a cynical exercise from a government that refuses to allow participatory government to work in this house. This is the Government that has not allowed input into its budget. This is the Government that has opposed public scrutiny of contracts for its senior public servants. The Executive in this house has a great deal of power. That is not about to change, nor does the Government want it to change. Mr Speaker, one of the fundamental aspects of democracy and one of its greatest strengths is that it allows informed and integrated debate on issues of importance to the community. Yes-no questions do not provide the best possible answers. The Greens urge members to oppose this Bill.

MR OSBORNE (5.37): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to say that I will not be supporting this Bill. However, I feel the need to answer some of the garbage coming out of the - - -

Mr Moore: Green camp.

MR OSBORNE: From Lucy over there. Mr Speaker, the reason why I supported the budget is that I believe in stability. To say that it is my fault or Mr Moore's fault that the Executive has all the power in relation to the budget is nonsense, because the Labor Party supported Mr Humphries's motion. It is certainly not my fault.

Mr Speaker, my initial reaction when I heard this proposal was no. The main reason - without even reading the Bill, reading any of the history or reading the previous committee's report - was a big concern about groups with a lot of money, such as the smokers lobby. There is nothing to stop Rothmans or one of those organisations from mounting a big campaign and removing all the laws that we in this place have implemented. Things like this really made my mind up for me. The smokers lobby is one of many. I believe that in Los Angeles in California they passed a referendum saying no more taxes or no increase in taxes. If that was a referendum question here in the ACT, I might even vote for it. Mr Speaker, I did not particularly want to stand up and talk on this issue, but I felt I had no choice after the garbage that came from some speakers.

Mr Connolly: But we are all on the one side on this one. We are still all going to vote the same way.

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