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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1908 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

Mr Speaker, you may have sensed just a tinge of anger in my comments about Independents and the little lecture and psalm we had preached to us a little while ago. I am not one to play on things like motor cars and little benefits members have, because in the end, nobody gets to win out of that. Everybody gets criticised because they are using a motor car and a lot of punters out there do not have them. It is as simple as that.

Every time these people get up and pontificate about how good they are, I am going to tell the world what they are really like. They want a big car for themselves, a flash one, for the funniest of reasons, none of which have anything to do with the work they do in here or outside. (Extension of time granted.)

I think most members in this place have a reason for a car. They have work to do out in the electorate and they have a lot of miles to cover. If I have particular needs that might strike my fancy, I might need a larger one, one that makes me look bigger or one that perhaps makes me stand taller amongst my peers. I may need one for some other personal reason. I do not think that enters into the picture, nor should it. But that is what has happened here.

This place of power and influence has corrupted them. That is the sort of corruption that has come into this place. This place has been corrupted by the power and influence of the balance of power. Balance of power is an extremely powerful instrument. You have discredited it in this place. All of us are a bit reluctant to lecture you on these things, because we depend on your vote from time to time. We know that we get paid back when we stand up and speak our minds. But there are some times when you just cannot hold back, and this is one of them.

It is about time that the message got through loud and clear about the hypocrisy of those who come into this place and lecture members of this place for having a connection with a political party. I would like to see a couple of you try your luck in one of the political parties. Do the hard yards. Just try your luck. That is what I say to you. When you are gone, it will be like pulling your fist out of a bucket of water. You will not have left a mark. There will not be a ripple. People will say, "Who was that?"

But when you are gone, the political parties will still be here, like it or love it. We all protest about the input into the political debate by the other side, as we describe our opponents. But when you are gone, those of us with a long-term view will still be working within the parties for an outcome for the community. Some of us may give it away because it is too hard. It is too hard sometimes, for all of us. But when we give it away, there will still be members of political parties here fighting the good fight for what they believe in. They will not be using their balance of power for personal interest. They know that the political parties they belong to are here for the longer term. I want you to think about that the next time you get up and try to lecture us about how moral and how good you think you are in doing your jobs. How dare you lecture us!

I will finish off with what I started with. The hypocrisy that I heard in the last little burst from you lot has no parallel. It was extraordinary. Do not lecture us. Do not lecture me.

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