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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2702 ..

MR SPEAKER: Mr Rugendyke, I have had consultation with the Clerk. The motion that Mr Berry put down is not being debated at the moment. This is not a cognate debate. We have not decided on this particular motion. It is possible that, once this is resolved either way, Mr Berry will have to withdraw his motion anyway, because it is too similar. Please confine yourself to Mr Kaine's motion at the moment.

MR RUGENDYKE: Mr Speaker, it seems that it has also been noticed that Mr Osborne and I stood at the recent election on the same ticket - yes, that is correct - as the Osborne Independent Group. You may also have noticed that on the first day of sitting both Mr Osborne and I stood in this chamber and declared our independence in this place, prior to any Assembly business being conducted. It seems that the conflict here between Mr Kaine and the Government is due to the acrimony of the fallout between the two. I would encourage that that falling out be rectified so that this matter can be fixed up properly.

MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again on this matter.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I actually neglected to move the amendment that I had circulated. Therefore, I now move:

Paragraph (2), after "determination", insert the following words "which increases the staff salary allocation for Mr Kaine to equal that of Mr Osborne, Mr Rugendyke and Ms Tucker without decreasing the allocation of any other Member.".

I will take this opportunity to speak on the topic a little bit more. I was very concerned to hear Mrs Carnell this morning giving the very clear impression to members that, in fact, the Clerk would have to find this money; that somehow the Assembly budget would suffer as a result of the imposition of any extra expense to give Mr Kaine equal resourcing to other crossbench members. I am sure that Mrs Carnell did not mean to mislead the Assembly; but I would like her to clarify that. As we are all well aware, salaries are not departmental; they are a Territorial part of the budget. They are seen to be out of the control of the manager of the particular area - the Clerk, in this case - and, if there has been some variation on a staffing allocation, then of course it is regarded as a Territorial expense, and OFM would be asked to accommodate that extra expense. So I would like to see that clarified by the Chief Minister.

It is entirely possible and appropriate for this extra amount of money to be found to support equity in this Assembly. I will not repeat the arguments I have already put, except to say that I could not understand the logic of Mr Rugendyke's argument at all. He just seemed to be saying that, because he declared himself an Independent immediately after election, that was somehow different from Mr Kaine, who declared himself an Independent some time later.

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