Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1200..
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning) (12.10): I seek leave to move the amendment circulated in my name.
MR CORBELL: I move:
Insert new paragraph 4A:
"(4A) The Committee Chair shall be held by a Government Member.".
Today we have seen the true colours of the Liberal Party. The committee has not even been formed and they are talking about a dissenting report. The committee has not even met and the Liberal Party have already decided that there is going to be a dissenting report. They have already decided on what their approach is going to be to the estimates committee. They have already decided—
MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, please do not digress from the subject matter of the amendment that you have put before the chair.
MR CORBELL: Indeed, Mr Speaker, and I will not. It is quite clear that the Liberal Party have already decided that they are going to be divisive, confrontational and non-cooperative on the committee. We have heard from Mr Pratt, Mr Seselja, Mr Stefaniak and Mr Smyth. They have all foreshadowed that there is going to be a dissenting report. I do not know—
MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Corbell, you have spoken on a previous amendment. There is a very firm rule in House of Representative Practice that, if you move a further amendment, you ought to confine yourself to the amendment before the chair.
MR CORBELL: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The reason I am moving the amendment that the committee chair shall be held by a government member is that the opposition have made it very clear that there is going to be a divisive, confrontational, non-cooperative approach. They have already flagged that there is going to be a dissenting report. The committee has not even met and they have flagged that there is going to be a dissenting report.
The government asserts that, as the majority party in the place, it is entitled to have one of its members as chair of the committee, consistent with the approach taken in every other parliament in the country where there is a majority government. The government party frequently asserts in parliament its right to chair committees of importance. It happens in the federal parliament and it happens in the New South Wales parliament. It happens in all of those parliaments. I am afraid that Dr Foskey and the Liberal Party will have to get used to the fact that, until October 2008, this government will have a majority in this house and this government will assert its majority in the same way as governments in other parliaments in this country assert their majorities.