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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 1516 ..

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, if I may assist you in relation to the question of relevance, I would draw your attention to the committee's conclusions. The committee inquiry to which this response is directed also referred to the Department of Health and Community Care's budget, and so on and so forth. Mr Speaker, there has been a debate about history to this point, and I do not think that should be ruled out.

Mr Moore: If I may add to that point of order, Mr Speaker, in the Government's response to conclusion 5 they say in the penultimate paragraph:

The 1995-96 budget was largely influenced by industrial arrangements made prior to the Government taking office.

They are talking there about industrial relations. I think there is a clear implication about history playing a role here. I think that should be taken into account.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on the point of order: There is really no validity to that point of order. The history referred to in Mr Moore's quote was the history immediately beforehand, not the history five years ago. With great respect, if there is any importance of a relevancy rule it comes into play in a situation like this.

MS FOLLETT: Briefly, speaking to the point of order, Mr Speaker, I distinctly heard members from the Government side referring to incidents which occurred when I was in government, incidents which occurred within my budgets, and to my Ministers. That surely falls within the category of history. I would now conclude - - -

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on that point of order: That was not in the course of the debate. That was in the course of a response under standing order 46 to an issue Mr Berry had raised in his own comments.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The opportunity is available, under standing order 46 or standing order 47, if members feel that they have been misquoted or misunderstood; but I must draw attention to the fact that we are dealing with relevance here and we are dealing with the item in front of us. Ms Follett, you referred briefly to an earlier budget. I would ask you to bring it back to the current discussion. If you wish to make an explanation later under standing order 46 or standing order 47, you are welcome to do so.

MS FOLLETT: The Bill which we have before us, Mr Speaker, is evidence of the total inability of the Liberals to contain a budget, and in particular their inability to contain the health budget. The relevance that I mention relates back to the only other occasion so far on which the Liberals have had the purse strings. We ended up with a deficit, and a large reason for that deficit was, in fact, the blow-out in Health. I think that is entirely relevant. I would like to quote further another very relevant aspect of the debate on the second Appropriation Bill. Back in 1990-91, Mr Speaker - - -

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I rise again on the point of order. I believe that you have ruled already on this issue.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, I have.

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