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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2370 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Rugendyke or Mr Osborne, and the government, and so that failed. Obviously, they would not support it.

Although I think it is a worthy attempt in some ways and I understand why Mr Berry is doing this, and I understand the anger of the Labor party at this, the reason I do not feel it is something I can support is that I do not actually trust this government not to still do this. In my view, what Mr Berry is doing today will not prevent the government from going ahead with its poorly conceived notion of public policy, in this case the free school buses. I think they could easily still do it, and it could actually be to the disadvantage of other initiatives and the important work of Urban Services. That is the reason I will not be supporting Mr Berry's motion.

I will not be supporting this budget, so I will be able to make the point quite clearly, anyway, at the end of this debate. I do not support this government. I did not vote for this Chief Minister. I did not vote for the last Chief Minister. There was an issue with budgets last year, because there was a problem within the coalition of Mr Rugendyke, Mr Osborne and the Liberals. They had a tiff, that is what happened. The Greens have been consistent in saying that we are in this place to stand up for a change in the way governance is carried out, in the values that are pushed through policy initiatives, in the way that policies are determined, and, in particular, in the respect that government should show to the community.

So I have no qualms about that. We have no real say in this government's work, we have nothing to do with what this government does, so I have no obligation to support them in any way. As I said, I did not support their being in government. That was Mr Rugendyke and Mr Osborne. That was their choice: that is their right. And it is not my problem if they fight with each other, as happened last year.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (5.45): Mr Deputy Speaker, where do we begin. I think we will start with Mr Quinlan, because Mr Quinlan is of the opinion that there is money just lying around. How untidy of the Under Treasurer to leave all this money just lying around. Money does not lie around, Mr Deputy Speaker. The money that we are able to spend in the coming year's budget is there because of the good fiscal management of this government over the last six years.

This is in direct contrast to the appalling effort of the previous government, of which you, Mr Deputy Speaker, and Mr Berry were of course members, which left us with an audited $344,500,000 debt. Now, it is very easy for us to just forget about it, and these are the Quinlan rules. These are the Quinlan rules: if it did not happen before the last election, it does not count. If it is more than three years old, it does not count. He said, "You cannot have a promise that is more than three years old. You did not promise it again last time, therefore it is not a promise, therefore it does not exist." Now, those are the Quinlan rules.

It would be interesting to see Mr Quinlan apply the rules in a fair manner, because, when we were reforming ACTION back in 1998-99, every time a question came up or there was a discussion on ACTION, there was Mr Hargreaves throwing his little jibes across the chamber, saying, "What about your free school bus promise? What about your free school bus promise?"

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