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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1718 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

Mr Rugendyke's bill had we not appointed an inquiry into disabilities. As I say, it may well have been bluff, it may well have been poker, but certainly the Chief Minister and I believe very strongly that that would have been the case.

One of the things that influenced the executive in its decision to appoint Justice Gallop was that this legislation would be another step in interfering with the separation of powers. It may well have been a very good bluff on the one hand. We see now that it was not just a bluff, and there is an element of hypocrisy. You have to judge yourself whether that is true or not.

There is something important about this. Mr Kaine said we should try to find a way to codify what we are doing. In the heat of the moment, in the heat of a political debate when an issue is really pushing us-we have all been there and we have all played the game, and we have all made mistakes in this-we are more likely to forget the principle and drive through for the political advantage. I am not pointing a finger at anybody here any different from anybody else. I have been there. I have done it. I just indicated that the amendment that Mr Cornwell moved, which I also pushed very strongly, was a mistake. It was done in the heat of the moment in the same sort of sense. So there is a very good reason for us to do it, and I think it is a challenge for the Administration and Procedure Committee.

I think the Administration and Procedure Committee should begin to look at where we divide those lines so that when it is written we can say, "Well, are we going to change this now?" It never becomes a document that is immutable, but it does make us stop and say, "Are we going to change that? What reason is behind our changing it? Do we interfere with the driving principles of the separation of powers, which I think we all see as fundamental?" For those reasons I will be opposing the bill.

MS TUCKER (11.55): The Greens will not be supporting this legislation either. Just on the last point of Mr Moore's suggestion, we have had that debate over the last couple of weeks in this place. I do not know that it is necessarily appropriate to try to shift the responsibility to the Administration and Procedure Committee. The whole question around the draft budget was related to exactly that blurring of power. The Labor Party has one position and you and the Liberals have another position which is different, and that political debate has obviously been occurring in that particular area. My position there is considered and not totally clear, I have to say. I can see that there are some dangers with the draft budget process and I also like to see consultation with the community. So I think, without reflecting on the Estimates Committee-no, we have not voted on it-and that debate that occurred regarding the draft budget process, that was really exactly what we were talking about, these sorts of blurring powers.

Mr Moore is correct to say that I certainly was expressing an interest in Mr Rugendyke's legislation when he first suggested it. I expressed an interest and I sought advice, and I do not think it is the correct thing to support. That is why I am not supporting it today. I understand why Mr Rugendyke put it up. He was frustrated at the arrogance of the government's response to what was an extreme majority of the Assembly's wish to have an inquiry into how people with a disability in residential care are being supported, and for that reason he proposed this legislation.

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