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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 745..


MR HUMPHRIES: We have a standing order in this place which requires proportionality. It says that as far as possible committees will be proportional. Strictly speaking, putting two members of any one grouping in this Assembly on a three-person committee constitutes a breach of the standing orders - not necessarily a breach, but certainly it is contrary to the spirit of the standing orders. I am happy to wear that if we all agree on it. That is fine. I am happy to see Mr Kaine stay on that committee; but I can see someone saying to me, "You are not logical in letting Mr Kaine stay on that committee but not letting a second Labor member go onto the Urban Services Committee". They could say, "That is not logical. You are being inconsistent". They would have a point. That is the only point I am making.

MR HARGREAVES (4.06): I would like to support what Ms Tucker was just saying. I understand the point that Mr Humphries is making about the link; but they are, nonetheless, two issues and we can debate them as two issues. What I see happening here is an attempt originally to get Mr Kaine to step off the committee. He was chosen by the party that he belonged to at the time because of an expressed interest in that particular committee. It was a choice between him and Mr Hird, and Mr Kaine went onto that committee representing the party and that was a great move.

Contrary to what happens on the floor of the Assembly, the committees approach their deliberations in a very nice, even, bipartisan way - or so reputation had it. I can say that since I have been involved in the Justice and Community Safety Committee such has been the case under Mr Osborne's chairmanship, and I would not like that to have to change. I would welcome Mr Hird joining that committee, because I think it will add value to it. But I think we need to understand that we need to have people who are there because they want to be and because they have the skills and the background to be able to contribute to that committee. Such a person is Mr Kaine, whose integrity in this particular matter, in my view, is beyond reproach. I wish I could say the same for some other people whose hidden - or not so hidden - agenda would have it otherwise.

We have a person appointed to the committee because they are a member of a particular party and because it has to be proportional representation. Mr Speaker, that is immaturity at its absolute best, and it is a downright insult to Mr Kaine and what he has been doing in our particular committee. I think he has been a victim. What is wrong with having four people on this committee and having the best people who want to be on it? If it keeps those little machinery people happy because their number crunching people are even happier still if you have your numbers together, then that is fine too. I have no sweat with that; I am happy for it. But they are two issues. We should debate them as two issues.

Ms Carnell: Okay; we are happy too. Let us do it. Let us just vote.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker! I would urge the crossbenches to consider very seriously the real reason behind this, which is just to offload Mr Kaine. I do not support that offloading. I do support having Mr Hird and Mr Kaine together on the Justice and Community Safety Committee. I will consider the arguments on membership of the Urban Services Committee when I have heard them.


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