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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 1995) . . Page.. 440 ..


Ms Follett: It is just churlish. You know that I am not going to do anything with it.

MR DE DOMENICO: It is not churlish, either. I will be very interested to see what the Assembly thinks of that comment when we vote on this amendment.

MR BERRY (11.19): Mr Speaker, this is amazing. Not long ago there was an extensive debate about the formation of the committees which were going to work for the people of the ACT. We heard all the talk about commitment to the committee system, how it was an important part of representative democracy, and so on.

Mr Moore: And you wanted to review it, so we agreed to review it.

MR BERRY: I can do without your interjection, Mr Moore. I can handle it by myself. I am quite capable of doing it by myself.

MR SPEAKER: Please continue, Mr Berry.

Mr Moore: I just wanted you not to mislead people as you were talking.

MR SPEAKER: Order!

MR BERRY: Again, Mr Moore, I can cope. I will be right. Thanks, mate!

We had an extensive debate about what the committees would do, and there was some objection to the course that was taken eventually. That has been resolved, and we have moved on. There was a review process talked about - I think it was agreed to by the majority in this place - which would look at the terms of reference for the various committees. But it seems that the agreement to those terms of reference by the majority in this Assembly should have had the caveat “unless Michael changes his mind” - or the Liberals. There is a process for changing your mind on these scores. You move to amend the standing orders - - -

Mr De Domenico: Which is exactly what we are doing.

MR BERRY: Hang on a minute. No, that is not exactly what you are doing, Mr De Domenico. The process is to move a motion to amend the terms of reference of the various committees to cope with your frame of mind. That has not occurred. What is happening is that the promised review process is being undermined by this piecemeal approach because it suits the mind of people at a given point in time to take this course. I do not mind waiting till the review process gets here and we work through it again cooperatively - or perhaps with a lack of cooperation, but we work through the process - and get to an end point where we move on. But I do object to this piecemeal undermining of the process. We really have to keep faith with some of the decisions we make in here, without seeking to pull them apart as we go.


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