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You will rise or fall by your judgment, because an impartial judgment in relation to this matter must restore access to the committee process by all people on an equitable basis. What is proposed by Mr Moore and supported by the Liberals in this case does not provide for that.
MR HUMPHRIES (3.55): Mr Speaker, the arguments put forward by Mr Berry are almost so nonsensical as not to require any rebuttal, but I will give them the benefit of a short rebuttal. First of all, Mr Speaker, paragraph (10), if it is removed, will conflict with paragraph (1) of the motion, which actually establishes what the membership of that committee will be. Mr Berry is maintaining that in some way - - -
Mr Berry: But it is in conflict with standing order 221.
MR HUMPHRIES: Not at all. By having paragraph (10) there, if there is deemed to be any conflict with standing order 221, it is removed by virtue of paragraph (10). If paragraph (10) comes out, then is Mr Berry arguing that somehow the composition of that Planning and Environment Committee will be different from the one mentioned in paragraph (1)?
Mr Berry: It has to be.
MR HUMPHRIES: In that case, you should amend paragraph (1) too, because paragraph (1) says that it should consist of Mr Moore, a Government member, an Opposition member and a Green. So, if you think there is some problem, you should amend that paragraph as well, not do the job half-heartedly.
Mr Speaker, let me say also that this is a very strange accusation coming from the Labor Party. There is no question that they should not have membership of any committee of the Assembly. They will have membership of every committee of the Assembly. The claim that in some way their influence is reduced because they, like those on this side of the house, have one fewer member than was the case in the past is very strange indeed. It is proportional to what happened before. There is some slight improvement in the position of the crossbenchers on this committee; that is true. But, in case Mr Berry had not noticed, there is now one more member of the cross bench than there was before the election. It is appropriate, therefore, in some small measure, that that larger role for the cross bench in this place be acknowledged. That is why this motion seems to me to be appropriate, and to exclude paragraph (10) would make no sense at all.
MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (3.57): Mr Speaker, there is a very important principle at stake here, and that principle is that the committees are the province of the Assembly, not of the Government. It is the Government today that is trying to manipulate not only the composition of committees but also the very number and nature of those committees. The Government is doing that because it has the active collusion of Mr Moore and Mr Osborne. I grant that Mr Osborne still has the L-plates on; but Mr Moore knows exactly what he is doing, and it is indeed a manipulation of the Assembly's processes and a manipulation of one of the most fundamental principles that this Assembly ought to respect. The Assembly has authority over the Government,