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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 360 ..

Ms Carnell: It is you three. It is not us.

Mr Humphries: Come on. Own up. Who is it?

Mr Moore: Whom did you say - Mr Osborne, Mr Rugendyke and Ms Tucker?

MR OSBORNE: No, Mr Osborne and Mr Rugendyke are enough. Seriously, Mr Speaker, the reality at the moment is that three members of Cabinet can push their budget through and then all of us are faced with the option of supporting the budget or having a vote of no confidence. It is all very well for the Labor Party to vote against the budget year after year, but I have not had the pleasure of being in this Assembly with them as the Government. I can imagine the howls of protest from them if we were, with the current arrangement, to vote against the budget.

I think things have to change, Mr Speaker. I believe that all of us need to accept responsibility for decisions that are made. Currently the Select Committee on the Report on the Review of Governance is looking at the issue of a draft budget. I do not believe there is time this year, but I do believe that we need to look at steps of changing the process. I am not afraid to have the debate on the Tuesday. I am a little bit bemused at some of the points that are in the motion, but I believe that all of us should take the opportunity on that day and be involved. I do not think it is good enough for us all just to say, "No, you can't do that; no, you can't do that; no, you can't do that", without at least giving some direction on which way we think the Territory should be going.

I agree with some of the points raised by the Opposition and by Mr Kaine in relation to having the resources that the Government have. They are the Executive. They are there under the current model that we work under, but I believe that we need to be mature enough and brave enough to be involved in this debate. The majority of us voted against the sale of ACTEW, Mr Speaker, but all of us acknowledged during that debate that there was a problem with finances within the Territory, and I think we all need to stand up in this place and at least be involved in some sort of constructive debate. I do not suggest that anyone will come in here and say, "This is exactly what I would do", but I believe we need to talk about what we believe are the priorities and what way we would generally have a look at the issue of revenue and expenditure.

Mr Speaker, my understanding is that the motion will be on the notice paper on the Tuesday. It will be part of government business. I think the reality is that it is going to happen. All we are really debating here is the issue of time, given that I believe Mr Kaine has queried the time. Someone in my office pointed out that 15 minutes gave us about 11/2 minutes to cover each of the points. I have no problem in being involved in a debate on this. I think this Assembly is evolving and changing. Minority governments are a way of life and we need to be more inclusive in the budget process.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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