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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 7 Hansard (30 June) . . Page.. 1837 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

compelling case. It would not be sufficient for the Opposition to claim that there was such a case. To paraphrase Sir Thomas More: In such a case, what would matter would be that I believe it to be true.

It is obvious to me, Mr Speaker, that in order to take such a drastic step as is being proposed today, and that is to remove the Chief Minister, all the information must be on the table. I think it is only fair that we here should agree to that. I have faith in the role that the Auditor-General will play in this debate, and I am certain that he will provide valuable information in relation to this issue. As that is the case that I believe, Mr Speaker, I have made it public that I think that is the fairest thing to do, and I will wait for his report in relation to what I intend to do with the Chief Minister. That is why I will be voting against the motion today.

I have, via the press, been attacked by the Leader of the Opposition in the last couple of days in relation to the stance that I have taken. I do understand his motivation. However, I believe that the road that I have chosen is the fairest. I have ignored the attacks by Mr Stanhope because I do not wish to begin a fight with the Labor Party when they are not the ones at fault over this issue. I believe, Mr Speaker, that a stable Assembly, a stable government, is very important. That is why I will not be running to anyone else's timetable. I will run to my own. I have a responsibility to the people who voted for me to treat this issue with the respect it deserves. I believe that it is serious, and I believe also that we in here have the responsibility to do what is right. I believe, Mr Speaker, that Mr Stanhope believes that all the information that is needed is on the table. I do not.

I need to make one final point, Mr Speaker. My voting against this motion should not be read by anyone as support for the Chief Minister. I sought advice from the Clerk about adjourning the debate. However, I feel, after having met with him, that the standing orders require me to vote on the issue today. Upon receipt of all that information, Mr Speaker, I announced what I did.

I have taken on board what the Labor Party has said today. Once all the information is on the table, once I have the Auditor-General's report in my possession and I have had time to look at what he has had to say, and if there is enough information, I will support a no-confidence motion at a later date. I still have grave, grave concerns about how this issue was handled and it will not be finalised, Mr Speaker, until all the information is on the table, as I have said. I have faith that the Auditor-General will provide very valuable information on the Bruce Stadium development.

MR KAINE (4.39): I believe that this debate that we are participating in today marks a defining moment in the history of this legislature because, in effect, we are asking ourselves a very fundamental question and that is this: Is it appropriate for a Chief Minister who has acted unlawfully, one who, in fact, has committed a number of unlawful acts, to continue to serve in that high office? That is the question at issue.

Mr Speaker, it is not just the Chief Minister that is accountable here. The credibility of this entire Assembly is at stake. The credibility of every one of us, collectively and separately, is on the line, especially Mr Moore's. Shed of all the sophistry and dissembling that we have heard over the debate today, it comes down to this simple question: Do we members of this parliament sanction as head of the Executive a person

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