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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3204 ..

MS TUCKER (5.52): I am glad that this debate has settled down a bit. Mr Moore said that the debate was about the expenditure of public moneys. I got a much clearer feeling that it was about a personal attack on Jon Stanhope and I found a lot of the tone of the debate extremely worrying and inappropriate. I am surprised that it was allowed to continue. Maybe it was within standing orders, but I have not witnessed anything quite as unpleasant.

The expenditure of public money obviously is of concern to all members of this Assembly, but the raising of the issue in the way that it was raised today was obviously done purely to take political advantage of the situation, for whatever reason. The Government would have been aware of the issues beforehand if it was so concerned. The other members of the committee are obviously in agreement with Mr Stanhope about the motion that he put today and I believe that they are working as a committee to produce a report that will be useful to the ACT community and to the Legislative Assembly.

I can understand that there is concern about how long it has taken for this committee to get going. I have listened to the concerns of the Government. I think that it has taken a long time, but that does not warrant the kind of attack that has been made this afternoon. It might have achieved some political points, but has it actually achieve anything for the ACT community? No. If the Government had its way, we would not have an extension and there is no way that we would get a proper report.

As Mr Rugendyke pointed out, the Government seems to have a pretty clear agenda about trying to knock off this inquiry. Mr Rugendyke did propose an alternative date. After listening to Mr Osborne, I think that could have a negative effect on the likelihood of a proper report coming out of this inquiry. Obviously, there would be the possibility of a report at a earlier date if that is seen to be appropriate. If it is not, obviously that would be because there is merit in the committee continuing the work. Particularly after today, I would not imagine that the committee would be careless about taking the time that has been asked for if it is not necessary and is not going to result in a stronger report. I am quite prepared to - - -

Mr Humphries: This is a rationalisation theory; it is nothing more and nothing less.

MS TUCKER: Mr Humphries says that it is a rationalisation. It is actually an argument, Mr Speaker, but it suits Mr Humphries to call it a rationalisation at this point. I think everything could be a rationalisation in that case. I close by saying that I think that this extension is quite appropriate. I have acknowledged some of the concerns and I support some of those concerns; but, as I said, I see absolutely no point in taking the course that the Government is suggesting because I do not think that it would be of benefit.


(Leader of the Opposition) (5.56), in reply: Mr Speaker, I wish to close the debate, thank goodness. I thank all members for their contributions. I think some of the contributions were incredibly tacky, but there we are. Mr Osborne, in the presentation that he just gave, basically made the points that I had proposed to make in summing up. This committee is an important committee. It has settled on a consensus

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