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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 141 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

Mr Moore has put on the table in his offers to nurses. I noticed in a Canberra Times article that Mr Stanhope, when queried about Labor's health policy, said, "Our health policy will be pretty much what Michael Moore is running." That is really interesting. According to Leah De Forest in the Canberra Times of 7 February:

ACT Labor's health policy would not be substantially different from Health Minister Michael Moore's, Opposition Leader Jon Stanhope said yesterday.

These are the hollow men who now wish to waste the time of the Assembly. They are actually wasting the time of the crossbench. This is a decision for the crossbenchers. If they wish to waste their time in mock games, in pretend theatre, because they have no substantial answer to the initiatives that the Chief Minister has tabled today, let us bring on the debate.

MR KAINE (3.55): Mr Speaker, the Manager of Government Business just said that if we continued with this debate he would reveal all. I think that was the general thrust of what he said. I cannot wait because it would be a first. All I can say is: let us have the debate and let the government reveal all, because I would love to hear what they have to say for once.

MS TUCKER (3.56): I do not want to support the suspension of standing orders now to have this debate because I do want to get through the business that we had arranged and agreed to get through. I would be happy to have that debate later if Labor wants to move for the suspension of standing orders at the end of business listed on the program.

MR BERRY (3.57): Let me just explain to Ms Tucker that that was before the government secretly issued a press release about a draft budget. It was just a moment ago that I heard them talking about how open, accessible and transparent they are, but here we are talking about a draft budget for the territory and you have just-

Mr Moore: That is how we have been transparent; we have put it all out on the table.

Mr Stanhope

: Which table?

MR BERRY: Not on the table here, Michael, so do not start that rubbish with me. Mr Speaker, I respect Ms Tucker's anxiety about the issue, but this motion is about something that is important for the territory and I would urge her to change her mind on the matter.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Justice and Community Affairs and Treasurer) (3.58): Mr Speaker, I am sure that it pays not to leave the chamber on days like today. I think I need to put on record the context in which this request for a statement by me on the draft budget is being made. Mr Speaker, I do not think any of us would be unaware of the continuous attack which has been made over the last two years by the opposition on the very idea of there being a public consultation exercise around the draft provisions of the budget.

Mr Stanhope: That is not what we said.

Mr Hargreaves: We are being Gary-ed again.

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