Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2315..
MR OSBORNE (continuing):
Mr Speaker, I will be supporting a period of six years, as per the committee's recommendation. I will also be supporting the retrospective aspect of what Mr Moore is proposing. The committee did recommend against that. I chose not to put in a dissenting report because, at the end of the day, the Assembly is the one that makes the decision. When I tabled the report I indicated that I favoured retrospectivity. The one issue that does concern me is that if we go to 10 years and make it retrospective we will leave Mr Kaine out dangling in the wind. I do not know that that is particularly fair. I would prefer six years so that a whole five or six years of things will be out there and Mr Kaine will not be the focus of it all. Perhaps that is something we should consider when we do come to it, which I imagine will be after lunchtime.
Mr Quinlan: I do not think anybody should be out dangling in the wind.
MR OSBORNE: I agree, but I do think that you have to weigh up openness. Not having been a member of a previous cabinet, it is not particularly an issue for me. Mr Kaine has said in committee that he is not concerned about any decisions that were made because he felt nothing was a secret, but I would imagine that that was because, I understand, everything that the Alliance government agreed to in cabinet was leaked. But, in the lead-up to an election, we do need to be very careful in what we actually do with this legislation.
I was just trying to go back over whose cabinet documents would be released if the period were to be 10 years. It really would not be much, other than Mr Kaine's. I prefer six years because there would be a lot more documents coming out. Having said that, I support the legislation. It is disappointing that the debate has degenerated today. Certainly, my discussions with the Labor Party, Mr Moore and the government have been very positive. Everybody generally supports the legislation. I just hope that decisions will not be made in anger on the floor of this place because of something that someone has said when all of us can see the merits of what Mr Moore is attempting to do. Mr Speaker, I will support Mr Moore, I will support six years as the period and I will cautiously support the retrospective aspect, but a lot of that will depend on whether the term is six or 10 years.
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.28 to 2.30 pm
Questions without notice
MR STANHOPE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Yesterday the Chief Minister welcomed the Auditor-General's latest report, Enhancing Professionalism and Accountability, in a media release headed "Government overwhelmingly supports Auditor-General's Report". Is the Chief Minister aware that in the report the Auditor concluded that the traditional or accepted concept of ministerial responsibility is broader than that held by ministers in his government? The ministers referred to by the Auditor specifically included the Chief Minister, Mr Stefaniak and the former Chief Minister. The Auditor concluded that the definition accepted by this government involved no more than responsibility for improper conduct, ie criminal behaviour or deliberately