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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 140 ..

MR STANHOPE: Absolutely, a hollow process, hollow men, a hollow government, a desperate government, a government without the courage to advise the members of this place of its proposals. It shows an absolute lack of courage in relation to this government's preparedness to face other representatives in this place.

The motion that Mr Quinlan wishes to move would provide the Treasurer with an opportunity to right that wrong, to come in here and have the courage to face the other elected representatives of this place and tell them what it is that he proposes to do, rather than just telling the media that he gathered together and those other stakeholders that he felt comfortable addressing. He could do the right thing by coming in here and redressing that wrong, that insult to the parliament, that contempt of this place.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (3.51): Mr Speaker, we are very relaxed about the suspension of standing orders, but this is the time for private members business. Mr Rugendyke did not know about this debate. I wonder whether Ms Tucker and Mr Kaine knew that Mr Quinlan was going to move this motion for the suspension of standing orders. At the same time as that, Mr Stanhope is accusing us of not consulting, of not talking to him and of shams and more shams.

I can understand Mr Stanhope's embarrassment. We are very happy to debate this subject, but let me ask a question of Mr Stanhope. When was the last time that you gave us a copy of a press release before you put it out, Mr Stanhope? Let us take something much more serious. How do we find out about no-confidence motions? How has any member of this government found out about a no-confidence motion while you have been Leader of the Opposition? I will tell you; we have read about it in the paper. This is from the Labor opposition which will not even do a draft budget: "We are going to keep it a little secret and then we are going to announce it when we are ready."

Mr Speaker, we will be guided by the crossbenchers on the suspension of standing orders to debate this issue. I understand that Labor wants to debate this issue and change the program for today for private members business. Let us hear from Mr Kaine, Ms Tucker, Mr Rugendyke, Mr Osborne, Mrs Burke and Mr Hird. If they are all happy to debate the whole issue of the budget, of course the government would be happy to debate it because it has some great stories to tell.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (3.53): Mr Speaker, it is curious that Mr Stanhope would stand and speak to this motion. He is the person who promised a new face for Labor when he was elected Leader of the Opposition: they were not going to react to stunts; they were going to be consultative; they wanted to be involved; they wanted to turn over a new leaf; and they wanted to prove to the community that they had listened. Should we revisit the Aird-Beacham report?

I had a year in opposition in the federal parliament when Mr Stanhope worked for the government there, the government that was ejected rather severely in 1996. They never once invited opposition MPs or senators to their launches. We see double standards from Labor all the time. The point here today is that they do not have a credible response to the initiatives that the Chief Minister has put on the table. They are mute, they are speechless, they are stunned. They cannot counter what Mr Stefaniak has helped the teachers do and the extra funding that we have for education. They cannot counter what

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