Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (11 May) . . Page.. 1590 ..
MR WOOD (continuing):
self-government. We might have walked into this place in some triumph instead of the way we did at first. The background and the reasons were never fully explained.
Again, by virtue of my private archivist, I viewed again this morning a video of that fine Canberra citizen, the then chair of the Grants Commission, Rae Else-Mitchell, saying at some pre-1989 seminar, "The would-be politicians have not explained how they would cope with the $84m overfunding compared with the States". Well, Kate, $84m? Rosemary, Trevor? You have been there. If only it was $84m. The Chief Minister referred to a 49 per cent fall. What was that in dollars - $200m or $300m? It was a very large sum of money. It was never fully explained.
I turn now to an other subject, d'Hondt. Someone - I do not know who it was - recently said that d'Hondt was responsible for that first Assembly, wanting to attribute all sort of blame to that first Assembly, wanting to blame it on d'Hondt. That is rubbish. Canberrans were responsible for that first Assembly. It was a very accurate reflection of the way they voted. Mind you, as part of that first Assembly, I do not want to attribute too much blame to it, thank you. I was there. I am just putting it into perspective. I do not mind d'Hondt.
Mr Moore: It is a good scapegoat.
MR WOOD: Maybe, yes. The trouble with d'Hondt was that the Electoral Commissioner did not like it. I remain convinced that the Electoral Commission did absolutely nothing to help as we sat there for three months in that long drawn-out count. The counting was always going to be slow, but they made sure it was slow. I want to point out emphatically how much better it is now with an Electoral Commissioner who does a marvellous job. The count is still complex but it is done efficiently and earnestly.
Jon Stanhope mentioned some of the figures I pulled out. On my count - thankfully, we always agree - 39 members have been through this place. We have had three Chief Ministers and three Speakers. Jon did not point to the number of opposition leaders. There is nothing to be read into that, I am sure. He will be across the way soon enough. I lost count. Can someone tell me whether Craig Duby was Opposition Leader for a day or two?
Mr Moore: Yes.
MR WOOD: He was?
Mr Humphries: For six hours.
MR WOOD: Let us recall that. I am not quite up with all the circumstances, so I will go back and do a new count now. I think Gary Humphries was Opposition Leader. Were you?
Mr Humphries: For six weeks.
MR WOOD: So there have been a few. I can now make a more accurate count. In both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party there have been a number. It is the pattern of