Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 17 November 2011) . . Page.. 5599 ..
government about the merit of this inquiry. It is very disappointing that the government has not come on board.
I undertake that we will be working expeditiously, we will be working openly and we will be giving a forum for our local employers in this very important industry. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
Privileges 2011—Select Committee
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.35): This is an important report. I want to remind members what I sought when I sought precedence and then moved that this committee be established. I refer to my speech. I said:
What I am asking you to do today is to send this matter to a committee for a committee to determine and make recommendations back to this place so that we get this right for the future, so that this does not happen again, so that committees are not interfered with by the executive and, indeed, so that committees are not interfered with by the Chief Minister, who should set the example.
In the main, that is exactly what the committee has done, and I thank the committee for it.
The committee found that there were problems with the process. In recommendation 1, the committee recommended that the Chief Minister and the Speaker, with the chairs, work out a system so that this does not happen again. That is probably why the committee says in paragraph 5.10 that the process followed by Ms Gallagher was unhelpful. Paragraph 5.9 says:
In assessing this issue, the committee considered that, whilst the issuing of the press release prior to the finalisation of a consultation process with the relevant committee was unprecedented and unhelpful, there is no evidence before it that suggests that that action was an attempt to improperly influence the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
We had the committee come to the same conclusion that I had come to: what happened was unprecedented and unhelpful. They have come up with a suggestion that we get the process better. In that regard, I thank the committee.
Paragraph 5.9 says in relation to the committee:
… there is no evidence before it that suggests that that action was an attempt to improperly influence the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
Why didn’t the committee ask those who were willing to come and speak to the committee? The Chief Minister even said that she would be willing to participate.