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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 250 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

But that would have been a reasonably pointless exercise. It is far better for it to be dealt with in this way and far better that all doubt be removed, and be removed from the beginning of this Assembly.

It is an interesting outcome, Mr Speaker, and really it is a leftover teething problem from self-government. New members would not be aware of it - certainly, Mr Humphries, Mr Berry and Mr Wood would know - but we have dealt with this sort of issue on quite a number of occasions as self-government has developed. I suppose, in some ways, that has been one of the most interesting parts of being involved in a brand-new Assembly and a brand-new parliament from its origins. Mind you, there were some other parts of being involved in this parliament that were anything but pleasant. I am sure that my colleagues who were here with me in 1989 will certainly notice the different tone in the community now and the different attitude people have to the ACT Assembly than they did in 1989. No doubt people like Mr Quinlan and other new members would also remember their own attitude to the Assembly, I imagine, in 1989 and the changed attitude they see here in the community.

It is incumbent on us all, Mr Speaker, to ensure that we can present to the people of Canberra the most effective Assembly that they can have. Certainly, in the inaugural speeches of new members earlier this week, I heard a great deal of hope in that area. I look forward to the Assembly operating in the most effective way. Dealing with this piece of legislation quickly, as we should, will help us to sort out one of those, I hope, last teething problems of self-government.

MR QUINLAN (3.59): I congratulate Mr Moore on his motivation for bringing this matter up, a motivation which had hitherto escaped me. I am glad that he has had the opportunity to clarify it. Sometimes, out of less than savoury motivations comes a reasonable result.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (4.00), in reply: I suppose I will have to take Mr Quinlan's remarks as being supportive of the legislation, although he did not actually say so. Mr Speaker, it is not necessary to say much, except that this does clarify a matter which is surprisingly not settled after almost nine years of self-government. Members will be aware that advice has been sought. I have a copy of the advice from the Government Solicitor. Rather than tabling it, I would be happy to show it to any members who are interested in reading it. I quote one paragraph which I think justifies the course of action we take today:

In view of the doubts which I consider are associated with the question as to whether the services of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Party Whips are rendered in the Legislative Assembly and as to whether their services are rendered in respect of the office of member of the Legislative Assembly, I consider that it would be preferable for a declaration of those offices to be made pursuant to paragraph (g) of section 73(1) if it is desired that they be remunerated above the level payable to a member of the Legislative Assembly.

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