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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 25 November 2021) . . Page.. 3674 ..

a committee chaired by the government looking into the government is providing effective scrutiny. It is really hard for us to get our heads around that.

I have no criticism of the chairs. It is a difficult job sometimes when you are from a political party but you are chairing in a tripartisan way. The reality is that when you have a government majority committee that is chaired by a government member that is supposedly holding the government to account and scrutinising the budget, it is pretty hard for me to get my head around the fact that it will be able to do the job as effectively as a committee that is singularly established to look into the budget and can do so in a substantive, holistic fashion.

We will be coming back to this place. I only speak today to make sure that members are aware of that and that they consider it in good faith, because I do think it is a better way of doing business. There is no particular gamesmanship being played here. It is simply a matter of me thinking that that is the way we can do a better job, in a committee sense, of inquiring into the budget.

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.36): We agree with removing this from the notice paper. I will make some comments on Mr Hanson’s remarks, particularly on his reflection of the admin and procedure committee. I served on that committee, as you would remember, Madam Speaker, for a while. The numbers that he talks about on admin and procedure are quite even. I think Mr Hanson really needs to reflect on the number of Liberals here in the parliament. If the Liberals continue with the policies and actions that they have at the moment, those numbers will continue to decline. I think it is time for him to reflect on where the party is going as a whole and see whether or not he can do better for the next election.

MR BRADDOCK (Yerrabi) (10.37): Noting Mr Hanson’s concerns and arguments—and he is right; there are pros and cons to both models—we regard this question as still being open and we will support the discharge today. The Greens are in the process of collating the lessons learned from the past estimates process. As you can imagine, this is not easy to distil, given how affected it was during the COVID lockdowns. Once we have consolidated the lessons learned, we will be able to come to a view on how we would see the estimates model, going forward.

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.37), in reply: Well, good on you, Mr Braddock. That is the sort of response that I was hoping for: a serious consideration of the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages. We have formed a view that it is a live issue and it is good that you are going to consider it. I am not sure that a response that basically says, “Hey, we’ve got the numbers, so you can get stuffed”, which is essentially the Andrew Barr message and now the Mick Gentleman message, actually adds to that debate. That is quite clearly the view of the Labor Party: “We’ve got the numbers; we’ll do what we like.” I would hope that the Greens would not support that sort of view of the world and would, somewhere in a deep dark corner, still think that accountability of the government is a good thing.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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