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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2010) . . Page.. 287 ..

Question put:

That Mr Corbell’s amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes 10

Mr Barr

Ms Porter

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Ms Burch

Mr Stanhope

Mr Coe

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Corbell

Mr Doszpot

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Hanson

Mr Smyth

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (11.01), by leave: I move:

(1) omit paragraph (2)(a), substitute:

“(a) have unfettered and timely access to documents and witnesses relevant to matters being considered;”; and

(2) add:

“(3) supports the notion that:

(a) committee chairs, on behalf of their committee, be permitted to make submissions in relation to documents referred to the independent arbiter where privilege has been claimed; and

(b) committee members respect the private nature of the discussions had during committee deliberations.”.

The first amendment, to (2)(a), adds “timely” as we believe it is important for committees to have access to the information they need to make informed decisions in a particular time frame. The other amendment relates to an independent arbiter and deliberations within committees by committee members.

When a committee requires an independent arbiter to deliberate over a committee’s access to documents, the government will provide substantial submissions to the arbiter to outline the case for requesting access to documents. In this event and in order for the arbiter to come to a fully informed and fair decision, the ACT Greens believe it is reasonable for committee chairs to provide submissions outlining the committee’s position on the matter.

Finally, we have had some incidence of private discussions in committee deliberations being raised in this place and in public. We believe that this undermines the purpose

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