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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 6 Hansard (3 September) . . Page.. 1950 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

I must admit to having been a little bit disappointed with some of the things Mr Stanhope has said in the last week, but I acknowledge that people often get caught up in an issue. I have to say, though, that in the scheme of things I think there is some potential for some members of the Labor Party. There are still some cowards over there, Mr Speaker, but there is some potential.

The reality is that it is very easy for the Labor Party to vote against the budget, but the issue is stability. The issue for us is that earlier this year the people of the ACT said that they wanted Kate Carnell as Chief Minister and - - -

Mr Berry: No, they did not.

MR OSBORNE: They certainly did not want you, Mr Berry. We did not want you either, Mr Berry, and that was our choice. As I said, Mr Speaker, budgets are important, but I cast my mind back to 1995 and the budget that year. The Labor Party and the Government got together when we attempted to amend the budget. I do not see voting against the lines of budgets or things like that as being any different from what we tried to do in 1995. Perhaps procedurally it was a little bit different, but the reality was that the two major parties realised what something like voting against the line or amending the budget means.

Ms Tucker: Rubbish!

MR OSBORNE: It is not rubbish. You know it is not rubbish.

Ms Tucker: It is a matter of choice.

MR OSBORNE: Ms Tucker can recall 1995.

Ms Tucker: I am not disagreeing about them colluding.

MR OSBORNE: They did collude. You know they colluded, Ms Tucker.

MR SPEAKER: Order, please! Let Mr Osborne finish. Some of you may not have homes to go to, but others do. Let Mr Osborne finish, please.

MR OSBORNE: Mr Speaker, at the end of the day this is Mrs Carnell's budget. I have consistently said that stability is very important and that I would allow governments to have their budgets. We attempt to change things and we do negotiate with the Government at different times. Sometimes we have wins and sometimes we do not. I could not distance myself from my colleague, Mr Rugendyke, for a start. I heard the former ACTEW accountant of the year. If he had the attitude that he has at the moment when he was the big accountant at ACTEW, I am surprised they did not go broke. It is very important that we have a stable government, Mr Speaker. I think that is what the people of the ACT want. Not everyone is going to agree with everything that they do. I certainly will not. Mr Rugendyke probably will, by the sounds of things. I thought it was very important to say that, Mr Speaker.

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