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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 95..


MS CARNELL (continuing):

Let us be fair, Mr Speaker. Let us have a sensible debate here. Let us look at actual outcomes. Let us look at the ongoing recommendations by a number of people, not just Pettit, to look at more sensible committee structures, or ones that just might be better. Would it not be good to - - -

Mr Stanhope: But not scrutinising, like Executive committees.

MS CARNELL: Professor Pettit has made it clear that he believes there will be greater scrutiny. Are you suggesting that Professor Pettit is wrong?

Mr Quinlan: You are. You are not adopting his recommendation. You have just said that you are not adopting his recommendation.

MS CARNELL: Absolute rubbish! Not in full; that is true.

Mr Quinlan: So you are saying he is wrong.

MS CARNELL: No, no. Professor Pettit has made it clear that he believes that committees aligned to departments, which is what we are doing, will exhibit greater scrutiny over the operations of government and the Executive. Mr Speaker, I tend to agree with him, and I think it is worth a go.

MR HARGREAVES (4.36): Much to the surprise of members opposite, I would like to speak in favour of Mr Berry's amendments.

Ms Carnell: That is a surprise.

MR HARGREAVES: I thought it might be. I also want to comment on the original motion. Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister just said that we are opposing a structure which might work. Mr Speaker, these changes might not work. I intend to show how they might not work. I note, however, as a new person to this place, the example shown to us by members of the Government in the non-adversarial approach to deliberations in this debate. These attacks on Mr Berry give me great heart that issues will be debated in the Assembly on their merits and not on the perverse personal attacks which have been the case thus far!

Mr Speaker, despite all the rhetoric that has emanated from members opposite, there are some realities which must be stressed. These were provided by Ms Tucker and I would like to expand on them. It is imperative that the Assembly recognise that one of its redeeming features in years gone by has been the effective committee system. The changes proposed by the Government through Mr Osborne inflict changes on a successful system. To me, this can mean only that the Government wants to change the effective system to suit its own drive for control - the old divide and rule concept. This is demonstrated by the need to disperse the PAC and Scrutiny of Bills Committee roles across committees which purport to shadow ministries and agencies.


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