Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 5192 ..
MR SPEAKER: Order, Mrs Cross! I ask you to withdraw the word "corruption".
MRS CROSS: I withdraw the word "corruption", Mr Speaker.
Let it be on the heads of those who vote no to this bill that they have provided for the further erosion of social infrastructure and less accountable and transparent government. It is wrong to accept donations from the profits of gambling.
While I speak, I have been made aware that some backroom deals and threats of retribution have been made in order to defeat this bill. This is the ACT in 2003, not Tammany-Hall in 1903. The behaviour of the government in its attempts to stop this bill being debated has been extraordinary. It has bullied and cajoled. It somehow convinced Ms Tucker, a member who, it would seem to me, is a natural supporter of a bill such as this, and gained her support to defeat it. I suppose we could say that Labor Inc is alive and well.
Mr Speaker, maybe we can-
Mr Corbell: When are you going to apologise?
MRS CROSS: I will get to Mr Corbell now. Mr Speaker, this has been rather an education for me: I have an electoral return here for 2001-2002 for the ACT Greens. Being new to this place, Mr Speaker, and always looking to you for guidance and wisdom, I always wish to learn new things. I was fascinated to see that the Greens received donations. Yes, the Greens do get donations. I never knew that. I thought that the only people in this place to get donations were all of us. However, no, here it is: donations for the Greens.
There is another system that I did not know about: it is called loans. There are all these little categories. It is interesting that Mr Corbell spoke tonight, Mr Speaker, as he really should have withdrawn from this debate given that a staffer from his office lent the Greens money. It is on the return. I am not going to mention the name. Isn't it interesting that the minister has a staffer in his office who lent the Greens money for the last campaign, for the last election? It says at the bottom, though, that it has been paid back. That is very interesting because there is also a donation there. The money totalled $165,550 and the total payments were $144,568, so the Greens were actually ahead.
I got a shock and I thought, "Lo and behold, the Greens actually get donations"and, if they are not donations, they are called loans. There is a new system that I did not know about that we could use. It is all above board. How fascinating!
I must address the money that I received. This is very interesting: I am on the public record as having invited a fellow Liberal candidate to join me in an advertisement the night before I filmed the ad, as a way of helping that candidate out. I would help any candidate who needed that help and Mrs Dunne was aware of that. However, it is interesting to see that Mr Quinlan referred to this as showing seething antipathy to the ALP. Nothing could be further from the truth.