Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1949 ..
MR OSBORNE (6.44): I think I need to clarify one thing, Mr Speaker. I missed Mr Rugendyke's speech. I have to say that, unlike him, I would much prefer to vote for the Labor Party. I had never voted Liberal until I voted for Ms Carnell as Chief Minister three years ago, but I think that says more about - - -
Mr Moore: Yes, but you had Fred Daly.
MR OSBORNE: I had Fred Daly as my local member.
Mr Moore: How could you not vote for him?
MR SPEAKER: Order! We do not want to be here all night.
MR OSBORNE: Fred Daly was one of the people who encouraged me to run. The reason why it has been so hard to vote for Labor is more an indictment of the Labor Party that we have here in the ACT rather than the way that we are inclined. I am pleased that Mr Rugendyke is more inclined to vote Liberal, but I am not. One of the important things for me and, I think, for Mr Rugendyke and Mr Moore, during the three years that Mr Moore was one of us on this part of the crossbench - I will leave Ms Tucker out of that, and Mr Kaine has not been here long enough to be included in the "us", but perhaps after next year's budget we will be able to include him - is to ensure that we have a stable government. It would be very easy to vote against a budget every year and swap governments, but I do not think that is what the people of the ACT want.
There are times when we do negotiate with the Government and we are sometimes successful - more times than Ms Tucker - and sometimes not. But, as I said, one issue for us is the issue of stability. I think the people of the ACT need to know that, apart from gross misconduct or things like that, the Government that is voted in at the start of each term is there to stay. There are a lot of things in this budget that I do not necessarily like, Mr Speaker. I have said a number of times that I have not been involved in the formulation of the budget and it would be very easy to pull a little bit out here and vote against it, but I think it is very important that we allow the Government to govern.
I heard some talk of the operating loss, Mr Speaker. One other thing that I would like to talk about is the unfunded superannuation liability, which I think at this stage is about $750m. That is a tremendous legacy left to us by a Labor government and, to a lesser extent, the Liberals. It is a terrible legacy that we are imposing on our children. So, addressing the operating loss and spending what you earn is very important to me, and I think to Mr Rugendyke. I am sure it is to Mr Kaine as well.
It is very easy for the Labor Party to sit on the other side of the chamber, Mr Speaker, and say we should vote against the budget. There are two points that I would like to make. The first is this: I wonder how they would feel if they were in government and members of the crossbench voted against their budget? Secondly, I acknowledge that a vote against the budget is a vote of no confidence in the Government, and the thought of some members of the Labor Party being in government still sends shivers down my spine. I have to say, though, in respect of the leadership of Mr Stanhope, that I have a lot more faith in him than I have had in other leaders of the Labor Party in the past.