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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2721 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Mr Deputy Speaker, it seems to me that Mr Osborne's amendment will allow the Labor Party, Ms Tucker and so forth to stand by what they are saying. You are so keen to make sure there is no discrimination. This is one way to do it. It seems to me to be a very sensible way of resolving this issue.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: This debate may come to a conclusion at some time. Mr Kaine, are you speaking on the amendment?

MR KAINE (4.56): If everybody has finished speaking I will try to bring it to a conclusion now, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Mr Humphries: We have to have a vote on the amendments first.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: We are still talking to Mr Osborne's amendment.

MR KAINE: When you hear what I am about to say - I will speak to Mr Osborne's amendment if there is no other way for me to do it - I think the debate may come to an end.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Well, at this stage anyway.

MR KAINE: In general terms, Mr Deputy Speaker, the debate has been an interesting one. I am astonished to discover that somebody around here believes that the allocation of such funds as this and the exercise of ministerial discretions was about securing members' votes. I have to say, Mr Deputy Speaker, that nobody has ever bought my vote and they never will. They are not going to do it today by the devious method put forward by Mr Osborne to buy my vote at the expense of the staff salary allowances of people who get two-thirds of the staff salary allowance that the people putting forward the amendment get. They are not going to buy my vote that way, Mr Deputy Speaker.

To refer to some of the matters that have been raised during the debate, the Chief Minister's opposition seems to be based on three things. The first was that the money could not be found. Well, I challenge her to produce the money. I did before and I challenge her again to produce it from the same source. The same amount of money approximately was found for the same purpose only eight months ago. There was no problem then. There should be no problem now.

Ms Carnell: I take a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. I answered that question. It was found within the Assembly budget last time.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: You may explain under standing order 46 later, if you like.

MR KAINE: As I understand it, the Clerk of the house had to find the money out of the budget at the time, but this year's budget took account of the new base. So, the Chief Minister is half right and half wrong. To say that there was no additional money is quite simply untrue because the money is being paid this year and the budget was escalated to take account of it. It could be done again next year, so there ought be no question about where the money comes from. It was found eight months ago; it could be found again now.

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