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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1608 ..

MR KAINE (continuing):

view, constitutionally. Let us talk about what is happening here. It is a constitutional issue. It is not proper constitutionally for this place to carry on with business as usual while this motion of want of confidence is hanging over the Chief Minister.

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. Can Mr Kaine give the legal opinion to which he is referring, because we rely so much on legal opinion for these issues?

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MR KAINE: I will tell you what, Mr Speaker: I will back the legal opinions of three eminent counsel against Mr Moore's any day. Of course, Mr Moore is playing the Government's game that this is trivial, that it is all about a minor flaw in the wall. He is joking, surely. He has to be.

In terms of the government business that happens to be before this house at the moment - I have already said that I believe that it would be improper at best to deal with it under the circumstances - the most important, I suppose, is the budget. The Chief Minister and Treasurer could be arguing that we must deal with the budget. In fact, we do not have to. There is no urgency to deal with the budget. It would not matter if the budget debate did not take place and if the budget were not passed until September because the Financial Management Act provides for supply if the budget is not through by the end of the fiscal year. There is no urgency in deferring the debate on the budget. There is no urgency in deferring the debate on the budget, Mr Speaker, and there is no urgency either in deferring the debate on less significant legislation like what Mr Moore is trying to make issue No. 1 this morning.

On that point, Mr Speaker, if it was so important to Mr Moore to get that piece of legislation through, why did he leave it to the last five sitting days of this Assembly to bring it on? In fact, he has already admitted it. The last piece of paper that I received in my in-tray just before I came down here this morning was an amendment to his own legislation. On 22 June - - -

Mr Moore: If you had been there you would know why.

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I seek your protection.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Moore, you have spoken already. Please be quiet.

MR KAINE: On 22 June this member brings forward significant amendments to legislation which he says is so important that it must go through before the end of the month. What he is trying to say is that there ought not be any debate at all on his Bill; we should just sign it off and make it law. Mr Speaker, his legislation is like everybody else's legislation; it is subject - - -

Mr Moore: That is not what I say. You misrepresent me again.

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I appeal to you.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Moore, if you want to talk to yourself, please go outside.

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