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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 1611 ..

Mr Kaine: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. This is not a budget Bill. It is an Insurance Levy Bill. If the Government wanted it to be a budget Bill they could have called it a tax Bill, but they chose not to. It does not affect the budget. The Chief Minister and the Treasurer can raise the $10m in some other fashion which would be acceptable to this place. It is not a budget Bill. Do not let us be confused by that. On the very first opportunity that Mr Kaine has to speak on a budget Bill - this is a budget Bill, Mr Speaker - he turns around and says, "No, I am going to oppose this budget Bill". This is the same person who said he would support budgets.

Ms Tucker: Why was it not debated before the budget?

MR MOORE: Ms Tucker is in exactly the same situation. They do not seem to understand the significance of the separation of powers, the way the Executive operates here, and the responsibility of the Executive to put the budget together.

Ms Tucker gave an example and said, "Well, Mr Moore used to hold the Government to ransom". There is a major difference, Ms Tucker. I made it very clear to a government before it ever started putting its budget together that I would take the government out on a single specific issue because I thought it was of such significance. I said it at the election and I said it prior to any budget ever being put together. I continue to say it; that if a government cuts the education budget then, as far as I am concerned, I will not have confidence in that government.

That is very different from saying, "The Government has now introduced a budget Bill. We will oppose its budget and we will oppose this budget Bill". If this budget Bill was lost that could not be considered anything other than a vote of no confidence in the Government. So you would expect the Labor Party to put that up. I accept that. That is their role. They are the alternative government. They are seeking to be the government. If they could find a way to roll the Government on such a matter, that would be entirely appropriate. But a crossbench has a very special sort of responsibility, as I said, and this is not a new argument for me. I have argued it on many occasions before. I am just disappointed that Ms Tucker and Mr Kaine do not see.

I understand that Mr Kaine's argument here is slightly different. He is saying that this is not a budget Bill, and I can hear that. I disagree with him. I believe it is a budget Bill. I see it as a budget Bill because it is a critical part of the Government raising $10m in order to deliver a balanced budget. It is a budget that takes on the responsibility, in a caring way - not just for now but for the future - of reducing the operating loss - - -

Mr Quinlan: It is inequitable.

MR MOORE: Mr Quinlan, I can hear you interjecting, but remember that what you and your party proposed prior to the election and during the election was a system that would simply not address the operating loss. Members of your party even said, "What the heck, we will just increase the operating loss". In other words, they would pass this on to future generations for our children. Now that you have a different group of people elected, I am sure you will be able to think through that and realise what a silly approach it was. What I said during the election personally was that we ought to be attacking

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