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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1858 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Mr Speaker, ironically, considering the denial of leave - I hope I get support for the suspension of standing orders when members have had time to think about it - this particular Bill is about enhancing the power of the Assembly and diminishing the power of the Executive, as you would know from the legislative program. That is what this Bill is about.

Mr Berry: Relevance, Mr Speaker, to the suspension of standing orders.

MR MOORE: It is interesting that Mr Berry sits in his seat and calls things out, including reference to standing orders. He does not even have the politeness and appropriate behaviour to stand and take a point of order if he has one. Mr Speaker, to deny me leave or to not support the suspension of standing orders would, at the very least, be churlish. Those opposite who denied me leave in the last few minutes, including Mr Berry - they were all Labor members - are the very people who say to me, "Moore, you are the most adversarial person here".

Mr Speaker, whenever I have sought to do things in a slightly different way since the beginning of this Assembly and since being appointed a Minister, those opposite simply have not been able to stand the change. They have sought to prevent me introducing legislation, and have attempted to deny me this prerogative. Mr Speaker, I agree that it is a little different from how things happen in other Westminster systems and in an adversarial system it is appropriate for them to say, "No". But in a system where we are trying to at least work together and allow members a right to pursue their interests, it is appropriate to allow me this time.

I would like to put it very clearly on the record that, contrary to what Mr Stanhope indicated when he responded to my legislative program, I have not used any of the department's time on these issues and I have not used the extra staff members, beyond what I had as a crossbench member, in preparing this legislation. In fact, Mr Stanhope has significantly more staff than I do anyway. I suppose we will be seeing his legislative program, or the Labor Party's legislative program, shortly. I do not know whether the Labor Party is just embarrassed, Mr Speaker.

I request the Labor Party, having listened to what I have had to say, to allow the suspension of standing orders so that I can introduce a Bill which, I think you will agree, is a useful piece of legislation. In the meantime, I make a commitment to members that I will seek to get a paper to the Administration and Procedure Committee to establish another area, perhaps called general business, in which such issues can be dealt with. We ought then to consider what other issues might be dealt with at the same time in general business as do not fit easily into other categories. I would seek your support of this motion.

MR BERRY (10.42): The most important aspect of this is to get it on the record what Mr Moore is on about. I do not accept - and neither would anybody with any sense - the limp arguments that Michael puts about adversarial politics. As soon as anybody disagrees with Michael Moore, they are accused of being adversarial. When he is being at his most adversarial best, he is just being objective. I mean, let us get the interpretations right. It was not long ago that Mr Moore and many others were having a shot at Mr Osborne for seeking leave without due notice.

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