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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1796 ..

MR MOORE: We talked about that earlier in the debate today. You would have done well to be here, Wayne. It seems to me that the research that Ms Tucker is asking for is a futile and inappropriate exercise. Whenever a party, whatever the party, goes to the electorate and says, "We promised to do deliver something," in this case school buses, and then they say, "However, we now have to do all the research," the electorate will be even more cynical than it is now. The electorate will say, "Oh, yes, you are going to do all your promises, but after you have gone through the election you are then going to do the research and see if it is a good idea or a bad idea." Sorry, that does not hold water. What would happen is that political parties would be even more on the nose than they are at the moment.

The same would apply to anybody who stands for election and becomes a politician. That basically is what would happen. If you say, "This is what I intended to deliver but we cannot; I am just going to do some more research and then we will see what the outcome is," then clearly the attitude of the electorate will be much more cynical even than it is now. That choice is not available.

Once the government has made its decision within a budget context, as much as I know that Mr Berry and Ms Tucker would like to delay it, it is an entitlement of the government, in a way consistent with the debate we had earlier today on Mr Rugendyke's bill. What is the right of the executive? The clearest right of the executive is to have its budget and to take responsibility for the expenditure of the money. Consulting on that first is fine, and how they want to go about it is interesting.

The Labor Party said, "We are not even going to do a draft budget process. We are not going to consult on our budget. We are going to bring it down and tell you that is what it is." They are entitled to do that as an executive if that is the way they want to approach it. But the crunch is that once they have made that decision, once they have put their budget on the table, they are entitled to that budget. That, I think, is the fundamental point here.

Attempts to delay this, or put it off, or change it, as have been made by a bill that Mr Berry tabled this morning, or by this approach that Ms Tucker has taken, interfere with their do that and are inappropriate. Motions like this simply ought to be rejected. That is the most important reason why.

MR RUGENDYKE (6.45): I apologise in advance, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, for breaching standing order 59 because, quite frankly, sir, I cannot speak to this motion without doing so.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Well, as a member of this chamber-

MR RUGENDYKE: No, I have to continue. Don't put a stop to my speech because that would be inappropriate too. I have said a couple of things in this budget process, which is what we are talking about. As Mr Berry has half pointed out in the report I wrote to the minister, in a sense I disagree with free buses. If I were in that position I would probably spend the money, the $27 million that is in the budget, on something other than free buses. But that is not my call.

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