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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1226..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

traditions, on the whole—be maintained. That is certainly something the opposition intend to do whenever we regain the government benches.

It does not matter that all of a sudden we have majority government; so let us behave like spoilt children and try to ensure that we get to pick up all the goodies and ramrod through what we want to go through on committees such as the estimates committee. That is not what it is all about. It is not what good government is all about. It is probably going to come back and bite you. You probably think you are very smart doing it now. But rather than having it benefit you, I am sure that the people of Canberra will be able to see through it.

This is a small place; it is pretty hard to keep thing secret. Truth will come out. If there are things you have done or your administration has done which have led to monumental stuff-ups, then they will come out, no matter how you might try to cover up. No matter how you might try to truncate a proper estimates process, what we have done in the past has been done very, very well, save for that disturbing element coming in last year, when non-committee members were highly restricted in their ability to ask questions.

The two amendments Mr Corbell has put on the table today are a very, very sad development. Whilst we have great respect for what Dr Foskey is trying to achieve here—and I can appreciate her frustration—it is felt most acutely by the opposition. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. We will not be supporting her amendment.

Unlike you lot, when we are in government, one of you can chair the estimates committee, because that is how it should be; that is a tradition we have established in this place. It is a tradition that has served us well. It has not particularly affected, I must say, the way the estimates committee is run—in fact, it has probably helped it—and it has not been particularly detrimental to the government of the day. You are going to stand or fall on the quality of your administration and the work you do, how good your budget is and how well you manage the economy of the ACT. The estimates committee is merely a process whereby proper scrutiny can be had. It appears you lot are going hell for leather in hiding behind that.

Mr Corbell's amendment is a very unfortunate one. I have made my point on what we will be doing with Dr Foskey's amendment. We sympathise with her, even though we will be giving it due process.

Amendment negatived.

Mr Smyth: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: earlier this morning Mrs Dunne asked whether Mr Corbell's amendment is inconsistent with standing order 225 of the Assembly. Mr Corbell's case was that paragraph (5) of my motion allows things that are inconsistent with the standing orders. At this stage my motion has not passed. Therefore, the application of it is inappropriate in this case. He was putting that it is the standard format in all of these motions.

Paragraph (4) is out of order, as committees normally report to the house and not to the Speaker. It also overrides the interest of the public accounts committee. With that advice, and having consulted House of Representatives Practice and Odgers, I ask you to now rule Mr Corbell's amendment out of order.


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