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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (15 June) . . Page.. 1925 ..

Mr Stanhope: Here we go.

MR MOORE: I would say, without hesitation, having been here for some 12 years, that nobody has lowered the standard of this house as much as you have.

MR RUGENDYKE (8.48): This amendment of Ms Tucker's is yet another example of a politically motivated one, not from a major party but this time a minor party. It is another assault on the Independents.

Mr Moore: You have lied so much. You just couldn't stand Kate Carnell because she just stood you up so much.

Mr Stanhope: Where is she now, Michael?

MR SPEAKER: Order, please! I would like to hear Mr Rugendyke.

MR RUGENDYKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As with the majority of amendments being debated here today, I am being guided by the recommendations of the Electoral Commissioner. There was a report signed on 27 November 1998 titled The 1998 ACT Legislative Assembly Election. I certainly had no input into that report. I think it was Mr Moore who said earlier this week that the bill before us, the original bill, was a good bill. This bill appeared to me entirely consistent with the recommendations made by the Electoral Commissioner in 1998. In fact recommendation 9 of that report said:

MLAs who are not members of a registered political party, Independent MLAs, may register a group name for use on ballot papers.

This followed a section in which the Electoral Commissioner addressed issues relating to parties of convenience. The commissioner concluded that ballot groups were a solution on the basis that the member "had demonstrated a significant level of community support by being elected".

This was the fair-minded recommendation of the Electoral Commissioner and this is what is reflected in the original bill. Any other amendment, particularly by parties that have expressed a very public political motivation, has to be treated with the appropriate cynicism. So, Mr Speaker, I will be guided by the Electoral Commissioner and I will not be supporting this amendment.

MS TUCKER (8.51): I will make a brief response. Mr Rugendyke did not address the arguments that I put, which are arguments to the Electoral Commissioner's point, so I do not know what his arguments are. Obviously he is just quoting the Electoral Commissioner, and that's fine. What he does not seem to want to respond to, and I might repeat it in case he did not understand it or hear it, is that-

Mr Rugendyke: Oh, I understand it.


: Well, I wish you had addressed it in your argument, Mr Rugendyke. The fundamental concern I have, which Mr Moore has understood and argued back to or addressed in his argument with a different alternative, the fundamental point I am

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