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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1892 ..

MR BERRY: That is why I will rely on the conventions and rulings that you have given in this place up to this point.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, in which case you will be concise, will you not?

MR BERRY: I will in particular rely on your ruling that Ministers can answer questions how they like.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, indeed.

MR BERRY: I would expect the same leniency in the way that I respond to this question that has been quite properly put.

MR SPEAKER: As long as you are relevant.

MR BERRY: Oh, a note. I must read the note. It reads:

This is the same as giving you unlimited speaking time. Go, Bernard Collaery.

MR SPEAKER: Fair enough. Touche!

MR BERRY: Mr Speaker, I must say that I am lusting for the opportunity to press on with a full and comprehensive answer to the question that has been asked, but I think it can be most easily answered by dealing with one issue that was dealt with in the Estimates Committee process; that is, it is the Government's job to put forward a budget which is acceptable to the Assembly. It is the Assembly's job to scrutinise it and find flaws where they exist. The majority of us found 50 matters which were worth commenting on. It is up to the Government to satisfy the Assembly in respect of its budget. Colleagues on the Estimates Committee with me made certain recommendations, and a couple of motions have been passed as a result. One motion passed related to a recommendation in the majority report about the Floriade fee and one other - - -

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I recognise your previous rulings about the amount of freedom Mr Berry has, but the question was: "Have you costed the recommendations that you made?".

MR SPEAKER: A very simple question.

Mr Kaine: Mr Speaker, I want to comment in connection with the point of order raised by the Minister. My comment is simply this: Who in fact wrote the question that was asked? Was it Mr Moore or was it Mr Hird?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, Mr Kaine. Mr Moore's point of order is upheld. Please remember, Mr Berry, that the question that was asked related to costs, as I recall.

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