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Mr Berry: What admission?
MR HUMPHRIES: I understood that Mr Berry was asking a number of people - friends of his and people he knew - to come in for the Tuesday night sitting this week. I recall seeing some of Mr Berry's staff, his wife and other people in the gallery. I assume that he had asked other people that he knew to come into the gallery. That is fine. I can also drum up 50 people, I can assure you, if I have a special reason for having them in the gallery. I have enough friends to do that. But doing so does not prove that we have support from the general public of this community to have Tuesday night sittings. It does not follow.
Another furphy or myth put about by the Labor Party is that somehow not having Tuesday night sittings is inconsistent with council-style government. I must say that I have never heard a more silly argument in my entire life. The idea of council-style government, Mr Speaker, is not about letting more people watch the decision-makers make the decisions; it is about letting the decision-makers share their decision-making power with the people of the community. That is what council-style government, in my view, is all about - letting people actually participate in those decisions through genuine processes to allow them to take part in them.
Ms Follett: Including letting them see what you do.
MR HUMPHRIES: Letting the public see what the powerful people are doing, Ms Follett, is not my concept of open government. I have a much broader view about open government than that. It is a view that actually involves people in that decision-making process. It is a system of checks and balances which gives people the power to actually take part in those decisions. That is what we should be all about with council-style government.
Mr Speaker, I support the motion that Mr Moore has moved. I think that it is important. I realise that it is unfortunate that there are some new members of this place who have not seen or experienced what Tuesday night sittings have been like. I can only offer them the assurance that those of us who have been around in this place for some time - even members opposite in their private moments - would certainly acknowledge that Tuesday night sittings have not been a great success. If we want to continue to spend $20,000 a year - $60,000 or so over the life of an Assembly - on providing that kind of token access, access which only a small handful of people take advantage of, then I think we have a very skewed view of what our priorities should be in this place. There are many more important things we could be spending that money on. I would suggest that we should be exploring what alternative uses that money might be put to. That is, of course, your job, Mr Speaker, in the first instance. I commend this motion because I think it acknowledges what has been an unsuccessful experiment and should be dealt with appropriately.