Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 12 Hansard (12 November) . . Page.. 3449 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
keep all of your promises, not just the ones you think are most worthy of being kept-and the rest can go to one side.
You said you have spent a record amount on education-and that is true. So has every government and every Treasurer that has ever risen in this place. Every year, every government spends a bit more on education than the previous government. So that is not much of an achievement, to be perfectly frank.
You talk about the number of bills you have introduced, as a measure of your success, as you did downstairs during the lunch break. Well, let me make a comparison, if that is a very important measure. I am not sure that it is a very important measure, but let us assume the number of bills is an important measure.
During the period from 12 November 2001 to 26 September 2002, the executive introduced a total of 49 bills in this place. Compare that with the number of bills introduced during the first 12 months of the Liberal government's time, in 1995, when the number of bills was, in fact, 70-not 49 but 70-significantly more.
You mentioned that the opposition would not work in an iron lung. Well, let me tell you that in the first period in office in 1995, the crossbenchers and the opposition introduced a total of 10 bills. As I recall, almost all of them were crossbench bills-none were Labor opposition bills. During the period of the 12 months just ended, between us we have introduced 18 bills, and a significant number have come from the opposition.
Mr Speaker, by any measure you want to use, we have been effective as an opposition and, with respect, you have not been particularly effective as a government. You have one achievement-you have abolished wigs in Supreme Court civil cases. Well done, but, against the things you have not achieved, that is not much of an achievement.
MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (4.07): Mr Speaker, there are a couple of issues touched on by the opposition which I believe require a response.
I see that Mr Humphries had his wig out today, and was sporting it. I think he was just testing to see if it still fits. He knows he is not going to be in this place all that much longer, because the movement is on. Mr Smyth, you cannot allow this bleed to continue for much longer-or Mr Stefaniak. We will find out which one of you has the spine to stand up first.
We know your time is limited here, Mr Humphries-and we know you do not have the numbers for the Senate. So I think you have taken your wig out of its wig box today and dusted it off, just to check that it still fits-just in case you have to take the third option. That, of course, is to return to the legal profession-because your options are drying up awfully fast. You do not have the numbers for the Senate, and you have destroyed your party. You have no credibility and you are not going to survive in this place-you know you are not.
Anyway, good luck back in the profession. I hope the wig still fits. Of course, wigs are no longer worn in civil matters-you are right about that. So you will have to go to the criminal bar. Good luck there-I wish you well.