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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 14 Hansard (28 November) . . Page.. 4400..


If we are going to move on and pass Dr Bourke's motion today, then we have wasted the time of the Clerk and others by putting together motion No 3. If you are going to change the way we are dealing with this, a little courtesy would be kind. Perhaps the communication back from admin and procedure by the party representative might be a bit more accurate to the party room so that people actually know what was agreed to at admin and procedure.

I suggest that somebody might like to rise and amend both notices Nos 1 and 2. I will move on to No 3. We will send them both to admin and procedure. Changing the rule and then coming back and changing the rules again early next year seems a little daft.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (11.35): I will just rise to respond to the issues that have been raised by Mr Smyth as I understand them. The issue that has been forefront in our minds as the government is the need to enable the committees to report. The caucus has discussed this and some of the difficulties that exist at the moment, particularly with the way the Liberal Party are approaching the committee system. Some cynical people may say that the strategic approach being taken by the Liberals is to ensure that the committees are unable to report, to make a point that the four-member committees do not work.

Dr Bourke's amendment to the standing orders should be supported and should go through today to allow the committee system to function and report, in the absence of more detailed analysis of Mr Smyth's proposed amendments, which, as we understood it, you were happy to have referred to committee for examination. This deals with the short-term issue. We are all being very polite about some of the challenges that the committee system is operating under, but the information I have is that it is very difficult to get a decision out of a committee because of the way the Liberal Party are approaching this.

Mr Smyth: Or the government members.

MS GALLAGHER: And the position that you are trying to place government members in. The government members are approaching the committee work collaboratively and collegiately.

Mr Hanson: Rubbish.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Hanson!

MS GALLAGHER: No—with a view to enable the standard way of committees operating, albeit with two votes on either side, as it has in the past. My advice, and I have not sat on the committees, is that that is not the approach that the Liberal Party is taking. We know you do not agree with four-member committees and we know you wanted to change it. Now, it seems, some may say, that the approach that has been taken by the Liberal Party is designed to ensure that the committee system does not function. We want it to function.


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