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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1606 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

agreed to by the members of the Assembly who have been involved in the process - Mr Rugendyke and others - and it could be dealt with very quickly. The question of competence comes up. Mr Moore, if you really want to deal with this matter, why is it that you have not come forward with some sort of amendment which would allow it to happen?

Mr Moore, let me propose to you a course that you might adopt. Assuming for a moment that the motion which has been moved by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Stanhope, will be successful, there will be shortly thereafter a motion to adjourn the Assembly. At that point members might consider opposing the motion to adjourn until such time as the piece of legislation which you specifically referred to is dealt with. The Labor Party indicated to your office this morning, on my understanding, that we are prepared to deal with it forthwith. My understanding is that, as a result of the round table conferences you had, there is substantial agreement to the legislation as it is now proposed.

Mr Moore: That is why it was delayed; through competence, not a lack of competence.

MR BERRY: I know that you will argue that you are not incompetent, but there are others who would like to make a judgment about that. If you rise in this place and accuse others of incompetence, you should take into account your own actions in matters. Mr Speaker, that is a course which could be adopted to resolve the complaints that Mr Moore makes in relation to this matter, notwithstanding the fact that this motion should pass. In due course, we can oppose the motion to adjourn the Assembly and then deal with the piece of legislation to which Mr Moore refers, if I am not mistaken, Mr Speaker, and then adjourn the Assembly in accordance with this motion. Otherwise, the Minister might draw upon his competence to come up with some sort of new motion in lieu of the motion in front of us. But that is a course that could be adopted. Wailing about this issue - - -

Mr Moore: But we do not want to.

MR BERRY: Mr Moore intervenes that the Government does not want to adjourn. We know that, but do not use this issue as a device. If you want to resolve this issue - that is, the Mental Health (Treatment and Care)(Amendment) Bill - I have given you a way forward for dealing with the matter and then that issue would be off the agenda. If you do not want to take that course, you are not serious. I propose that as a course and I think it is a sensible one.

The issues of principle that have been raised by the Leader of the Opposition are serious ones. We have a serious motion which goes to the issue of the Chief Minister's competence to run this Territory in relation to the legality of her actions in certain matters concerning Bruce Stadium. Mr Speaker, that is a serious matter. It goes to the competence of the Government to do anything in relation to Executive business and it is a sensible move to delay any further consideration of Executive business until the matter is resolved one way or the other. But if, as Mr Moore says, the issue that he raises is so serious as to require the most urgent treatment, I have given him a way to deal with it. It can be dealt with. If members agree with the proposed amendments to the legislation, it can be dealt with quite sensibly. Mr Moore, if you are serious about the complaint that you raised, you will go along with us in that direction.

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