Page 1688 - Week 06 - Thursday, 3 June 2021

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

(9) with the establishment of the Select Committee on Estimates 2021-2022, the general purpose standing committees will not now inquire into expenditure proposals contained in the Appropriation Bill 2021-2022.

This is the standard motion to establish a select committee on estimates. It is the normal form. Previously, there have been five-member committees and three-member committees. This is the three-member committee version. It is pretty self-explanatory. The only thing that is different from the normal establishment of a select committee is that it deals with the fact that currently the standing committees, based on a motion moved in this place previously, have that responsibility, and it discharges them from having that responsibility.

The reason I have moved this motion today is that if the committee is going to be established, we need to get on with it. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, as people would be aware, with committees. If we are going with the select committee process, we do not want the standing committees, that currently have responsibility for that role, still thinking that they have to schedule ministers, hearings and diary appointments. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to make sure that it is done properly. That involves not just time lines for members but for the committee office, who work very hard on our behalf.

We have had a crack at the standing committees looking at the budget. We have been through that process, so we are aware of what was happening. It was certainly the will of this place that a trial be conducted. That trial has concluded. We have had a look at it. It is very important, if we are going to form a view, that members look at how the select committee works. There are a number of new members in this place. All of the Greens backbenchers are new to this place. There is a new Labor backbencher who sits on committees. There are two Liberal members who sit on committees. If we are doing a trial of it being referred to standing committees, we have to look at what happens the other way; otherwise how are we going to come back and say, “Yes, that’s the way to proceed”? If you have not seen it operating both ways, and the bulk of members that sit on committees have not, how are you going to form a view?

Ms Cheyne is looking at me quizzically, but how are members of this place going to form a view if they have only seen it happen in one way? She looks confused about that. It is pretty simple, isn’t it? My understanding is that Ms Cheyne has been the one driving this, and I can talk to that later, if she wants me to.

We need to have a balanced view on which way to proceed. All said and done, we have formed a view. We have looked at it. We have been able to sit on those standing committees and form a view. The view is that the select committee is the way to go; it is the preferred way to go. At its core, if you do this through the standing committees, there is no holistic look at the budget. All you get is a sliver of the budget. You might be looking at the health aspect, the education aspect, the JACS aspect, the planning aspect and so on. Certainly, you are not having that holistic view; you are only seeing a small portion.

You can think about how you would look at any budget, in its entirety, in order to form a view of it. With a household budget, it is like saying, “I’m going to look at the

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video