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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 65 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

part of the Canberra community. They have full rights, as do other members of our community. This Government is treating them with contempt, and I do not believe that that is good enough. I believe that this Assembly, which is the place where the Government is held accountable, should have the guts to say to them, and this includes the Independents, "You have not done well enough so far. Go away and do better". I hope that is indeed the way the Assembly will vote.

Mr Moore: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Under standing order 47, I seek to make an explanation.

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, on a point of order: It seems to me that it would be far better if this were done after the vote was taken.

MR SPEAKER: No; Mr Moore is doing it under standing order 47. I am not sure, Mr Moore. You will have to make the judgment for yourself whether it is 46 or 47. Certainly, if it is standing order 47 it has to be taken while the debate is continuing, while the subject is before the house. I just mention that to you.

Mr Moore: Indeed, Mr Speaker, the subject is still before the house, which is why I have sought to make the explanation under standing order 47.

MR SPEAKER: That is my understanding.

MR MOORE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Mr Berry's lack of understanding of the standing orders is coming through again. Rosemary Follett in her speech put the proposition that somehow or other Paul Osborne and I had suggested that we would support the censure motion, in some way using blackmail, she said, or some term like that, in return for their agreeing to amend the budget. Mr Speaker, if that is what was intended, then to that extent this was misleading the house. What happened was that Ms Follett actually came round to my desk here to ask whether I was going to support the motion - a perfectly normal occurrence - and what I said to her was, and I am paraphrasing, "I think the better way to do this is to amend the budget". I must say that if I had said, "Let us do a quid pro quo on it", that would be normal politics. That would be in no sense blackmailing, but there was not even that. At no stage did I suggest that. What I suggested was that Labor, if they wanted actually to achieve something instead of just words, could go back and amend the budget. I said that I was prepared to go back now and put an amendment on the table to amend the budget in the same way as I had suggested during the debate on the Appropriation Bill. To represent this as some quid pro quo on behalf of either me or Mr Osborne, who was sitting next to me at the time, was entirely inappropriate and certainly was not the case. If Ms Follett continues with this sort of thing, she will probably last even less time as Leader of the Opposition. She ought to appreciate the fact that she has a little time, now that Mr Connolly has gone.

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