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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 918 ..

MR BERRY (12.26): Mr Speaker, the move by Labor this morning to ensure that this vote of confidence was put forward by the government was in response to a hiatus in your authority created by the government on the last occasion that we met. The government created the impression of a crisis when there probably wasn't really one at all. It was a crisis of its own creation when it moved to adjourn the Assembly at short notice after the motion to eject Mr Kaine failed.

Mr Speaker, that could not be read as a vote of no confidence in the Speaker from Labor. There will be no mistake about it: if Labor ever seeks to move against the Speaker it will move a vote of no confidence in the Speaker, and we will argue specifically in relation to it. As I have said before, we have always adopted the approach that the government nominee as Speaker should be supported, and we continue to observe that. We make no apology for the view, Mr Speaker, that we would rather there be a Labor Speaker and that a Labor government nominate the Speaker, and we will get to that one day. That day is not far away, I suspect.

But we also reserve the right, as I have said previously in this debate, to decide at any time that a particular nominee as the Speaker does not have our confidence. Mr Speaker, this motion that has been moved in the end by the government, after some goading, at least will establish your authority in this place and we can move on from there rather than have an 8:8 vote hanging around which could be considered to be a reflection against your authority in the place. It is a motion that will succeed.

We and the other side, I suspect, or other sides in this place, will test your rulings as Speaker in relation to the standing orders from time to time. That is the nature of the place and I do not see that that will change. Without wishing to be too harsh, this incident should also be seen as a shot across the bows and an indication that we have been unhappy about the government's performance, particularly in relation to question time.

I listened with interest to what Mr Kaine said about the party room. I acknowledge and understand that party rooms can be difficult places, and in particular for Speakers when the government is under pressure, especially if you have particularly demanding colleagues who are prepared to trade off on some of those issues. This becomes even more difficult at around preselection time, and all those sorts of things. But they are issues for you to navigate. I do not have to lecture you on that. I am sure that you have been going through that for some time.

It is necessary though, Mr Speaker, for this question to be resolved. I have no doubt that it will be resolved in the affirmative and we will move on. I look forward to what, if anything, comes out of the Administration and Procedure Committee in relation to this matter. The issue that started this was a sense of concern about the management of this place, and that should be taken on board. Once this motion of confidence which the government has been forced to bring on is dealt with we can get on with the management of this place, in the fond memory of events past.

MR WOOD (12.30): Mr Speaker, I presume that the Chief Minister is going to speak to this motion. I am carrying on the debate-

Mr Moore: No, it is my responsibility.

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