Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 8 Hansard (24 October) . . Page.. 1951 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
(ii) options for preventing or reversing any adverse impacts which may occur as a result of the enactment of the Bill; and
(c) other relevant matters as determined by the Committee;
(2) Ms Follett, Mr Kaine and Ms Tucker be appointed as the members of the Committee;
(3) the Committee shall report by the first sitting day in March 1996; and
(4) the foregoing provisions of this resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with the standing orders, have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.
The ACT Greens believe that it is essential to establish a select committee to consider the issues that arise from the Competition Policy Reform Bill. The Bill has been introduced on the assumption that, through promotion of competition, we will see greater efficiency in the delivery of services. I say that this is an assumption because there is little evidence to suggest that it is fact. The Hilmer report, which forms the basis for many of the reforms that are currently being promoted, states that there is no one approach that will gain efficiency. In fact, it argues a case-by-case approach to gain efficiency. However, the basic underlying assumptions remain: Firstly, that competition leads to efficiency; and, secondly, that efficiency is good for people. Efficiency may be good for some of the people some of the time, but it is almost never good for all of the people all of the time.
The reference by Mrs Carnell to digging a moat shows that she fails to acknowledge that, as Hilmer argued, a case-by-case approach is possible with this legislation as well and it is probably desirable. I heard the Liberals argue fiercely for the corporatisation of ACTEW because it was one measure to make us more competitive; yet there was an opportunity, unfortunately not taken up by the Assembly, to look at that change more carefully. It is the duty of every member of any democratically elected assembly anywhere to promote policies they believe will enhance the wellbeing of their constituents. A responsible person will ensure that she or he has made a decision based on the best possible advice, following a thorough assessment of the issues at hand. Sometimes making such an assessment can be reasonably quick and easy, but with other issues, such as the Bill before us, such an assessment requires a lot of consideration and wide-ranging public debate.
The Bill has only just been passed in the Federal Parliament, and it is 1995. It is very interesting to look at Hansard and to see the range of concerns expressed by members of all parties. Mr De Domenico claims that we are just doing what Greens do around the country. That is probably true, Mr De Domenico. I do not know why you