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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (20 June) . . Page.. 2147 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

It is interesting that Mr Stanhope mentions the 1,000 hospital beds. I will digress for a moment to deal with that. They promised, I didn't, 1,000 hospital beds in 1995. It was a silly promise. What they ought to have been promising, and what the thrust behind that promise ought to have been, was that they would increase the number of patients that are dealt with in our hospitals. Mr Speaker, that has happened. There has been an increase in the number of people who are being treated by our hospitals. There has been a significant reduction since I have been the minister in the amount of time that people are waiting for elective surgery.

All of these things are done because the government chooses to put the money in the appropriate spot and to spend it at the appropriate time in order to deliver the outcomes that the government has set. That is what it is about. If this legislation goes through Mr Berry will set a precedent that interferes with the prerogative of governments not only to be able to spend the money but also, by using the Financial Management Act, when it can spend the money. It is simply unacceptable. It will make administering departments and running a portfolio extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible. Mr Speaker, this legislation really must be opposed. It is inadequate. It is about politics. It is not about sensible government.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (11.24): Mr Speaker, it is interesting, isn't it, that the precedent was established by Mr Moore five or six years ago when he was an Independent.

Mr Moore: No, it was Mr Cornwell.

MR STANHOPE: We do understand your role as well, Mr Speaker, with great respect, but it was Mr Moore who gave you the support and the courage and basically established the precedent in relation to this matter. But Mr Moore now says, "I wasn't a minister then. I wasn't in the executive then. I wasn't picking up the perks then. I am now the manager of government business, so it no longer suits me to hold that view. Mea culpa. I admit I was wrong then so Mr Berry is wrong now."

Mr Moore: You know I voted against this many times before I was a minister. You know I voted against it many times. That is just being slimy. You know that.

MR STANHOPE: It is quite intriguing, isn't it. As soon as you pick up the perks-

Mr Moore: You have been really slimy.

MR STANHOPE: Being slimy for suggesting that because you are manager of government business, because you manage the Liberal Party government of this place, you have adopted a different attitude? You now say, "I was wrong then, but I am right now. Because I am right now Mr Berry is wrong now." You established the precedent. It's absolute nonsense, what you say. The hypocrisy of your position is just extreme, just, I might say, as the hypocrisy of your position in relation to the housing maintenance contract is extreme. I do not know whether you have looked around, Mr Moore, at the people in this place who are about to lose their jobs.

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