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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1617 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

essential services as health and education has to be the reason we are here. We are not here to play politics, and that is what an adjournment would be about, nothing more and nothing less - just members playing politics.

Mr Kaine put an argument about this being unconstitutional. Well, if it is unconstitutional, Mr Kaine broke the law, Mr Speaker. So Mr Kaine's argument is obviously fallacious. There are precedents either way. I think this Assembly should make the decision on the basis of looking at the notice paper and deciding what is in the best interests of the people of Canberra, and there is no doubt that that is to continue to sit.

There is one other issue I would like to raise, Mr Speaker. If we rise for the next week it will cost in dollar terms and financial terms, as well as all the social issues we have already raised, quite a significant amount of money because we will have to sit again. We will have to sit again for at least a week and a half. So it will cost money that those opposite do not seem to care about. There will be significant social ramifications and financial ramifications, which of course inevitably end up as social ramifications, all for one thing - because those opposite and others want to play politics. This side of the house obviously will oppose a motion to adjourn because it would not be in the best interests of the people of this city.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.29), in reply: The very good reasons for the house rising for a week that have been put by the Opposition and two members of the crossbench at least have simply not been addressed or rebutted at all by the Government. The Government, of course, wants to maintain some semblance of normality that it is getting on with government because it is in enormous strife. It is actually embroiled in the gravest fiasco in relation to Bruce Stadium. It has been suffering for weeks now, bleeding out in the community, as a result of the fiasco that it created at Bruce Stadium. The fact that it did act unlawfully and that it - - -

Mr Moore: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I do this reluctantly, but I refer you to standing order 59. Mr Stanhope has talked about the gravity of the particular motion that he has put. I think anticipating discussion on that motion would be entirely inappropriate.

MR SPEAKER: I do not uphold the point of order, but I do remind Mr Stanhope that Mr Moore is correct in that you must not refer to or anticipate debate.

MR STANHOPE: Thank you for that, Mr Moore. I will go through the issues that were raised and that simply have not been rebutted. Mr Moore acknowledges the seriousness and the gravity, as have other members of the Government. We all acknowledge that this is a most serious and grave matter and it has not been raised lightly by the Opposition. Because of the gravity of it, because this is in effect and for all practical purposes one of the most serious matters that might be brought in this place, we believe that the Assembly should rise for the week. I think the argument has been put quite succinctly. We all accept that it is extremely grave. It should have precedence over other business.

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