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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 August 2008) . . Page.. 2922 ..

to be on the record in this place backing those bogus figures but he was happy to put them in a press release. So in a press release you can say what you like. It does not matter if your figures are wrong but the last thing he wants is to be held accountable for the words he says in this place.

I put the challenge out to him again. When he gets up to speak he should address each of those issues. He should say that he believes every one of those bogus figures put forward by the Treasurer is correct. He should tell us why they are correct and point out where there are errors in our costings. But there are none. There are none and they are published. We publish our costings; we put them out there. This government does not and the minister now has the onus on him to actually get up in this place and tell us where we are wrong and tell us that the Treasurer is right. He can’t.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Planning, Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11.47): I seek leave to move the amendments to the motion that have been circulated.

Mrs Dunne: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: I seek your ruling on these amendments. They basically throw out all the words in Mr Seselja’s motion and substitute other words which are, in fact, contrary to the spirit of the motion. I know that Speakers in this place from time to time have ruled in relation to this, but I want a new ruling in relation to this.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Do you have a standing order on that?

Mrs Dunne: The amendments are contrary to the spirit of the original motion, and they should be ruled out of order on that basis.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Just resume your seat, and stop the clock, please. On the point of order, I have just taken advice, and I have had a good look at House of Representatives Practice. I have to say, Mrs Dunne, that at page 306, under the title “Alternative propositions”, it is allowable to move an amendment which removes every damn word off the page except one. Unfortunately, in terms of your particular point of order, that is what the House of Representatives standing orders allow the minister on this occasion to do. You might want to debate later the issues around the spirit of that, but that is what the rules allow. There is no point of order.

MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. I seek leave to move the amendments.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: I move:

“(1) paragraph (1)—Omit all words after ‘especially in’, substitute ‘early childhood’;

(2) paragraph (2)—Omit all words after ‘condemns’, substitute ‘the ACT Liberals for failing to accurately cost their recent commitments’; and

(3) paragraph (3)—Omit all words after ‘welcomes’, substitute ‘the Stanhope Government’s:

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