Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (19 May) . . Page.. 298 ..
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a short statement in connection with my status in the house.
MR KAINE: Thank you, members. I guess that all members of this Assembly now know that last Wednesday I resigned from the Liberal Party. If anybody did not know, I am informing them now. But I wish to advise the Assembly that I now sit in this place on the crossbench as a Canberra Liberal unless and until the Electoral Commissioner denies my application to do so. My purpose is simply to distinguish myself as clearly as possible from Kate Carnell's Liberals, using a name that I believe clearly informs the community on what I stand for.
MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a short statement in relation to this matter.
MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, I think it very important that I do make this short statement on behalf of both Mr Rugendyke and myself. In the last few days since Mr Kaine jumped ship from the Liberal Party, journalists and others have been beating a path to both our doors to find out whether or not this changes my attitude towards keeping the Government where they are. The short answer is no. Let me say that again for those who seem a little dense or who are a little hard of hearing - no. Changing a government is a serious matter, and I do not believe it is open to me to do it on a whim; nor is it open to me to do it on someone else's whim because they decide they wish to leave a party. This is a parliament, not a playground, although sometimes I must confess it is hard to tell the difference. Just because allegiances change within the Assembly is not in itself enough reason to start shifting the Executive deckchairs.
Mr Speaker, I am not necessarily committed to this Government, but I am committed to stability in the Territory. That will not be achieved by flicking the switch on government every time someone in this place gets their nose out of joint, with all due respect. I also feel that I would be betraying the people of Canberra if I changed the Government just because I did not get my way, no matter how tempting that may be. If I were a vindictive man, then I would have perhaps stood in the way of Mr Moore when he made his bid for power by joining the Executive - and I use that term very loosely, Mr Moore. It was tempting, and I must admit I toyed with the idea for some time. I do not think it is any great secret that Mr Moore and I do not share similar world views; but in the end I decided it was not my role to dictate to the Chief Minister who can or cannot be in her Cabinet. It is up to her to make those choices and live with the consequences. As it turns out, one of the consequences was that, as Mr Moore was whistled on board, Mr Kaine abandoned ship.