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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 3 May 2007) . . Page.. 915 ..

This has been the policy of the Liberal Party in practice since the beginning of self-government in the ACT and it has been formally endorsed by the parliamentary party. In 2005, after 16 years of form and practice, this opposition flouted the rules and conventions and has continued—

MR SPEAKER: Relevance, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: to do so through the last period of time.

Mr Corbell: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

MRS DUNNE: The relevance, Mr Speaker, is that this is about maintaining the integrity of the estimates committee process.

Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I think Mrs Dunne is coming close to reflecting on the debate we have just had, in which the Assembly resolved that the committee in question will be chaired by a government member. I think she should be cautioned in that regard.

MR SPEAKER: Members are advised not to reflect on a vote of the Assembly. They should also remain relevant to the motion which is before the house.

MRS DUNNE: I do not reflect on the motion previously voted on. I am reflecting upon the ACT parliamentary Liberal Party’s commitment to the integrity of the committee system, which is what we are discussing here today, and providing a mechanism for members of the Assembly to contribute to committees and here take evidence in committee by remote audiovisual link. In the past the Labor Party has opposed this proposal. I hope that today they will not do so again.

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (12.00): The government will be supporting Mrs Dunne’s amended motion. We would have had issues with the original motion but believe this is a sensible motion. The practice did operate in the previous Assembly for some two years, to my understanding, without issue. I know that, in the previous Assembly, on one or two occasions the provision was utilised for me to attend after I had an operation. We had an audio meeting of the public accounts committee with me on the end of the telephone.

I believe it would be sensible to go forward with this. I understand that the Clerk has put this forward and that the admin and procedure committee is looking to include it in the new standing orders. This is a practice that I understand has occurred for some 15 years in federal parliament. I do not believe there is an issue with this going ahead.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee

Report 26

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella (12.02): I present the following report:

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