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MR BERRY (11.14): The problem with this debate about committees is that the first step was unsatisfactory for some members. Since then, it has been the subject of much discussion as people find their position on these matters as this Assembly develops. There has been discussion about forming a new committee. Labor's position in relation to the environment was that it would be better served by another committee, but the arrangements have certainly not been settled. If you cannot get the first step right, from my point of view, you should not proceed down the path of a piecemeal approach, so that every time a new idea is developed we whittle away the prospects of getting a joint agreement on how the committee process ought to work.

I see a withering commitment to the committee process from the Government and, from Labor's point of view, if the committee process and its culture is to survive it is going to have to have the enduring commitment of all the players. If people are cut out of the action because of the raw numbers which were used in the first place in developing the committee process, they are cut out at the peril of the committee process. That is the truth of it, because you cannot have a committee process where some people are squeezed out of the action with the use of raw numbers. I have to say to you, Mr Speaker, that the first step was a step that ought not to have been taken, because people were dissatisfied at the end of the day.

Labor will be opposing the move that is set out in Mr Moore's motion. I know that it has been on the agenda paper for a long time, but it is also the case that agreement has not been reached in relation to the overall committee structure and therefore the piecemeal approach ought to be avoided. I do not know where the Government comes from in relation to this. They supported Mr Moore's position in the first place, and well they might. We would expect them, on the basis of past performance, to have a natural tendency to oppose what we believe in in relation to these matters. But I think people ought to have the entitlement to sit down and resolve all these matters as a whole. The non-Executive members of this place, essentially, have to work together, one way or another, with disagreement from time to time in the committee process. My view is that we have to form an arrangement - not just one member's view being imposed on the rest of us - that will make the process work. If the piecemeal approach is adopted, we might all go down the path of little piecemeal measures to suit ourselves. That approach might be taken by members as well. Certainly, that is what is happening up to this point. If it is good for the geese, why should not the ganders play by the same rules? I do not think that augurs well for the future of the committee process.

I urge members to vote against the motion moved by Mr Moore. It is a piecemeal approach. It is not fair, and it has the appearance of the first step that was taken in relation to this. Mr Moore used the blunt instrument when he was setting up the committees in the first place, and it is now very clear that, if you use the piecemeal approach, the end product may not be finetuned to suit the needs of everybody in this Assembly. The motion will be opposed by Labor.

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