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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1377 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Having said that, let me say that, ultimately, all members enter this place with a common desire to serve the people of Canberra. Mr Speaker, I remain confident that in seeking to achieve this shared goal we can work together cooperatively, constructively and with mutual respect.

That is what Mr Stanhope said in his first speech to the Assembly. He has made some very churlish allegations about the way I do my work and I think it entirely appropriate that I have an opportunity to respond in these circumstances. We gave him leave to respond to my statement. The Chief Minister has sought to speak on this issue. A number of important issues have been raised, and therefore it is appropriate that we suspend standing orders to allow both the Chief Minister and me to make comments on this issue.

MR BERRY (4.01): I merely make the point, Mr Speaker, that it is private members business today and the Executive is trying to use up our time.

Ms Carnell: Excuse me. You used up all day yesterday.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Berry has the floor.

MR BERRY: I would like to respond to that, Mr Speaker. The Assembly agreed to the suspension of standing orders yesterday to allow a censure motion - a rightly placed censure motion too, a well-argued censure motion that on the debate won. I just think they should be letting us get on with our private members business instead of trying to soak up time. There are some important issues to deal with.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (4.02): Mr Speaker, the reason that I wanted to speak was that when I tabled the Government's spring legislation program this week I made the same comment - that I thought it was really important that private members and the Opposition think about bringing forward a legislation program to allow the legislative drafters to schedule their time more efficiently. I also said at that time that Mr Moore would be bringing forward his private members business program.

Mr Speaker, in the past Ministers have brought forward private members legislation. I have, as Chief Minister. It is not an unusual thing to do. In the past this Assembly, when we were obviously in a more cooperative mood, believed that Ministers could be private members as well; that Ministers could bring forward legislation that was not necessarily from the Government. I thought that was the basis upon which we were trying to provide a cooperative Assembly. Without that, if the whole approach we take is that this is the Government, that is the Opposition and those are the other mob, we will never get a cooperative approach.

The fact is that Mr Moore is a member of Cabinet but he is not a member of the Government. He is not a member of the Liberal Party - that is better.

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