Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 3414 ..
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Berry! It is up to the individual members whether they wish to speak at all.
Mr Berry: Indeed, Mr Speaker, and I gave them all the opportunities to do so.
MR SPEAKER: They do not need to be provoked, thank you.
MR BERRY (6.20), in reply: I gave them all the opportunities to do so and they were disinclined to respond to the issues which have been raised in the Clerk's advice which you circulated. The Government is clearly supporting this legislation and does not want proper inquiry into the matter, and neither does Mr Osborne.
One of the interesting things about this is that the Government intends, and Mr Osborne intends, to create a precinct here for their own protection because they have been bothered in the past. They want to try to create a little bunker for themselves when they make controversial decisions. Yes, I agree that the Chief Minister was hassled in the past over a bad decision about buses. I suspect that Mr Smyth would have been hassled on a bad decision about buses had he not turned himself around and realised the error of his ways. He saw what happened to the Chief Minister and he learnt, and he did not proceed. So in the end we did not have to tolerate that again.
We have a situation where the Executive is preparing for itself a little bunker in law and we have the car park precinct being established so that nobody can confront a member out there when they get out of their car and put a proposition to them. If the member is unhappy the member can then call upon the Speaker to order this person to move on. This is a clear demonstration of people trying to create for themselves a buffer zone. It is a buffer zone that they might need if they go on with silly decisions like selling ACTEW, or if Mr Smyth had gone on with a silly decision like privatising the buses and so on. I am not frightened of the community because I do not intend to waste the landscape as this lot do.
I think this is legislation that has not been well thought through. In the first place it was a knee-jerk reaction from the Chief Minister in response to her being hassled as she came to work. Of course, she did not like the issues which she had to confront being put to her face. Well, I do not mind that. I am not frightened of it. Here we have a situation where the precincts of the Assembly are being established for no good reason. There is no good reason for this. This is merely to save Ministers in this place from being confronted by members of the community. We all remember the fuss and bother at the larger parliament to our south when the media wanted to talk to members of the Government as they were going to and fro. I think the Government might have been of our particular flavour at one stage, and they did not like the media scrum out the front. They were wrong.
I think establishing this sort of buffer zone just to protect yourself is a sign of your frailty. It shows that you are just trying to create a bunker for yourself. I still recall this Chief Minister going crook about the very meagre security arrangements that are in place around this building. Do you remember her shrieking and screaming about the very meagre security arrangements around the building? Now she is supporting something which will establish a bigger buffer zone for her own comfort. Isn't that just amazing!