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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1903 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

Perhaps the big campaign of the next election to "Put the LIB/LABS Last" might be worthwhile, coupled with another campaign to vote for an Independent, ANY Independent, to return democratic government, would be instructive. My vote will go to the candidate who promises to repeal this mischievous legislation of yours.

Doesn't that sum up well the sentiments of the community? And doesn't Mr Beazley know when he is onto a winner when he says that the Commonwealth laws have "flaws and faults". I just wonder why we are replicating this flawed legislation.

Mr Moore: Because we want to-for cash!

MR RUGENDYKE: That is right. This is the importance of the Independents, isn't it? The crossbench who are able to check majority government-as we seem to have here-when it wants to get away with whatever it likes. That is the downfall of majority government in this territory.

Mr Kaine: But you are part of a majority government.

MR RUGENDYKE: Here we have them-plenty of them. We are irrelevant, Mr Kaine. This is majority government here. Isn't it great? Isn't it terrific? We can do what we like; that is the benefit of majority government. I think I have said enough-except that, as for the hurdles the two major parties are putting in front of me, I will live with them. That is fine. I will do it with one arm tied behind my back as well. That suits me fine.

To remind everyone, Mr Kim Beazley is correct in saying that the Commonwealth laws have flaws and faults and that the Labor government would close loopholes that allow political parties to make millions of dollars from anonymous donors. He said it perfectly.

MR OSBORNE (5.52): I have been here for 61/2 years now, and I do not think that I have witnessed a grubbier, smellier, sneakier thing than what we have seen perpetuated by the two major parties. I was stunned when I heard about it. My assessment of the relationship between the two major parties at the moment is that it is worse than it has ever been in my six years here. There seems to be genuine hatred flowing across the chamber, and then you hear that there have been these secret negotiations going on between the two major parties.

The disappointing thing is that the Labor Party waged a relentless campaign against the former Chief Minister over secret deals, Bruce Stadium, secret contracts and with attacks on her. But in this deal with the Liberal Party they have created an even worse situation where people can donate money-I do not care what anyone says, if people donate money to you, it is going to have an influence. It cannot not.

If it was a one-off donation of $1,500, perhaps the bitter taste in my mouth would not be quite so bad. But the reality is that a group, the Labor Club, for example-Mr Quinlan raised their name-could make 100 donations of $1,499, and the Labor Party would never have to declare it. I think that stinks.

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