Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1615 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
that this is raised at the last minute in the way it has been by Mr Moore. This should have been discussed beforehand. As it has turned out, we are going to find a resolution to that particular concern. As I understand it, the Bill can be debated today.
The other point I would make about the other pieces of legislation that may have some urgency around them is that we can deal with business on Wednesday after the no-confidence motion. Also, of course, it is always within the ability of the Assembly to choose to sit another day or to choose to sit for another week. So solutions can be found. If the load of business is of such significance, the Assembly can agree that we need to allocate another sitting week. So none of the problems that have been raised are not able to be solved.
I believe the principal thing that has to be in the minds of all members when they are voting is the fact that we have a government in respect of which a no-confidence motion is to be put. This is a very serious matter. We therefore need to acknowledge the gravity of the matter by not accepting that the Government can go on with its business as if everything is normal.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (11.22): It was very interesting to hear Mr Kaine particularly say that to continue to sit would be unconstitutional. I think that was the word he used. It is very interesting to note that on 30 May 1990 a want-of-confidence motion was moved in the Assembly against the then Chief Minister, Mr Kaine, and guess what happened, Mr Speaker? The Assembly kept sitting. Mr Kaine, as Chief Minister, kept sitting. In fact, the Assembly went straight into question time.
Mr Wood: Who moved it?
Mr Stanhope: Who moved that motion?
MS CARNELL: Mr Stevenson. Mr Speaker, I do not think it matters who moves - - -
Mr Berry: He had one vote, and everybody knew it.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Settle down please.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, if the issue here is that a want-of-confidence motion is a very serious issue, and it is, no matter which elected representative in this place moves it, and that it is unconstitutional, to use Mr Kaine's word, to continue to sit, unfortunately he did exactly that.
Mr Moore: He broke the law.
MS CARNELL: He must have broken the constitution, Mr Speaker.
Mr Moore: Unconstitutional. Acted illegally.
Mr Kaine: Have your fun, Michael. It does not derogate from the importance of this matter. You have your little joke.