Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 1 December 2022) . . Page.. 4098 ..
The final recommendation states:
The Committee recommends that the powers of a committee of the Assembly to compel:
(1) documents pertaining to that committee or a member of that committee; and
(2) the identity of a person whose identity is otherwise protected under law;
be considered as part of the ongoing review into standing orders.
I would like to thank the other members of the committee, Michael Pettersson and Jo Clay. I think that it is the case that we have all endeavoured to work as parliamentarians through this process, not as politicians, and I thank them for their contributions, which have been useful, considered and balanced, in my view.
I would like to thank the secretary, Max Kiermaier. He had been called back, from wherever Max was, to do this, and I commend him for his work. He has been very useful to the committee. He has worked diligently and provided outstanding advice to the committee. I would like to thank all of those who have submitted and appeared as witnesses. We received a number of very comprehensive and informative submissions. Indeed, the witnesses that appeared provided evidence that was of great use, as well.
I have been a parliamentarian in this place now for 14 years. I have to say that I have learned quite a bit through this process; there is no doubt about it. I would encourage other members to read the report, which is written in a way to try to provide an amount of information and education, as is said in the recommendation, to the executive and regulatory bodies. But I also think it would be useful to members to read to gain—and refresh themselves on—an understanding of what are pretty complex matters. I commend the report to the Assembly.
MS CLAY (Ginninderra) (10.10): I was a member of this committee, but I am now speaking in my own capacity about the report as it is tabled, and the evidence, which is all online. A lot disturbs me about this inquiry. I will note two matters in particular. The committee asked for complete records of all interactions between the Workplace Health and Safety Commissioner and the minister, from both the Workplace Health and Safety Commissioner and the minister. In particular, the committee asked for notes of all phone calls made between these two people.
The committee also asked for a record from the minister of the comments made by senior public servants which sparked this entire episode—the comments in which the minister said senior public servants told him they were scared because face-to-face estimates meant they would have 40 witnesses crammed into a room.
The committee received a written chronology and full records from the Workplace Health and Safety Commissioner, but the records received from the minister were incomplete. The minister did not provide a written submission before the hearing. The minister provided a written chronology after the hearing, and his office advised that all the emails were already in evidence. But the minister did not provide any notes of the phone calls that took place with the Workplace Health and Safety Commissioner, or notes of the comments made by the senior public servants who had complained