Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (20 May) . . Page.. 438 ..
MS CARNELL (continuing):
The Full Bench of the Federal Court is being asked to rule on a particular issue. The respondent is the Mirinjani Nursing Home. The Chamber of Commerce - - -
Mr Hargreaves: It is the Uniting Church. It is not the nursing home; it is the Uniting Church, which owns half of Sydney.
MS CARNELL: The Uniting Church - that is exactly who it is. It is the Uniting Church in Australia and the Mirinjani Nursing Home. Surely, in a situation like that, this Assembly should allow the process to be followed and should accept the umpire's decision, whatever it may be in this case. If at the end of this process the union picnic day is upheld as a public holiday, then we will all abide by that - no problems whatsoever. Let us leave it to the court, not to Mr Berry. Let us not see motions brought forward in this place that involve significant costs and the person bringing them forward not having a clue what the costs could be.
In a couple of weeks' time we will bring down a budget. How would the Assembly cope with us saying, "These are the things we would like to do; but we really do not know what they cost, so we will tell you afterwards."? That is simply not on. This is a straight ideological approach by Mr Berry. Mr Berry is not willing to let the process run its course and not willing to accept the umpire's decision. I have total faith in the Full Bench of the Federal Court. It is amazing that Mr Berry does not.
MR CORBELL (5.26): What an enormous load of codswallop from the Chief Minister! What a load of spurious arguments about this motion! The Chief Minister clearly has no idea what Mr Berry is asking. The rest of the Assembly quite clearly understands that this motion is about requiring the Executive to support a decision that has already been taken by this Assembly. That is all. The Chief Minister says, "Let the umpire decide". When the umpire decides, the umpire does not decide in a vacuum. The umpire decides on the basis of the arguments put. Mr Berry and the Labor Party are asking the Government to argue the case that this Assembly has endorsed - that the union picnic day is a valid public holiday and should be allowed to stay. That is what this motion is all about. Chief Minister, you deliberately misrepresent the point of view that is being put by Mr Berry and by the Labor Party, but that is nothing new for you. Chief Minister, there is no doubt that this is an entirely legitimate claim.
I want to address some concerns that were raised by the Chief Minister in the debate. The first is: Who spends the money? The Chief Minister said, "The money is not ours. It is the people's money". She is entirely right. But who makes the decision on who spends the money? The people do. How do they do it? They do it through their elected representatives. Where are they? They are in the Legislative Assembly. The Chief Minister's argument is entirely spurious. The elected representatives of the people of Canberra here in the Legislative Assembly can decide whether or not money is spent. Indeed, that is what we do every year when the Chief Minister brings down a budget.