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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2719 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

I think, as elected members of this place, the community would expect us to be offended by that. The community would expect us to make a decision about which principle is more important here. Do members like Mr Osborne, Mr Rugendyke and Mr Moore get away with saying, "This is such a dangerous precedent. We cannot possibly challenge the Chief Minister's right to make these budget decisions. This is the sacrosanct principle that is at stake here."? I am sorry, it is not.

I think the principle here, as I said, is about discrimination on political grounds. I believe that as members we have a responsibility to regard that as more important than the budget bottom dollar line which is so typical of the response from this Liberal Government and Liberal governments right around Australia continually. It is the same thread that goes through the discussions we have in this place, whether it is about competition policy or whether it is about battery hens. The thing that matters most according to those on that side of the house - and these people here seem to believe it - is the dollar. It is not the other values and principles of our society that I believe people in our community actually value more highly.

MR BERRY (4.48): Mr Deputy Speaker, noting this amendment that has been put forward by Mr Osborne and the support of it by the Chief Minister, I want to recall a few interesting things. One of those was the dash for cash which occurred immediately after the last election. People were posturing for the position of Speaker, for ministerial positions, for staff salary allocations, and all of that. Some of those people are going to vote with Mr Osborne on this if they get the opportunity. When did any of them worry about where the money was coming from? They did not worry at all.

Did the Chief Minister worry about where the money was coming from when she recently had a massive salary increase? It was found. These things can be found when it is expedient to do so. When it is not expedient to do so artificial barriers are created. We heard a list of the artificial barriers created by this disingenuous Chief Minister. These cosy arrangements which make the Government feel comfortable are fine for the Government - - -

Mr Humphries: Mr Deputy Speaker, look - - -

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Is this a point of order?

Mr Humphries: Yes, it is, Mr Deputy Speaker. The words "vindictive" and "disingenuous" have been used in the course of this debate, as usual by Mr Berry - who else - of Mrs Carnell. Who else would they be of? Would you care to rule on whether those words are parliamentary or not for future reference?

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think they have been used before in this place, Mr Humphries. Mr Berry might listen to your point, but - - -

MR BERRY: I am sure, Gary, that you will be able to dig up something which matches it. Cosy arrangements have been agreed to for obvious reasons. Mr Osborne has persisted with this ridiculous approach of taking the staff salary allocation off others, and I raise that issue again. This tells you all you need to know. Did he ask his own staff?

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