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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 2612 ..

MS HORODNY (continuing):

Mr Kaine made reference to the fact that I was not at the only public hearing. Unfortunately I was away, although I did read the transcript, and the Greens have had a number of briefings on this issue. I agree with Mr Kaine that it would have been desirable to have more public hearings and wider input, but the committee could not extend the timetable that it had. It is very disappointing that the Government has rejected each of the recommendations in the report. There may, indeed, be a need for changes in the public service, particularly at the managerial level, but these are not necessarily the right changes. They are about a culture of outputs and efficiency, and not a culture of cooperation and the pursuit of the common good.

MR KAINE (10.53): Mr Speaker, you will note that I did not table a minority report; I tabled a dissenting report. That word I used carefully, because I was merely dissenting from the view of the chair. Since Ms Horodny has already indicated that she did not attend the only hearing at which evidence was presented, the comments that she has made this morning may be relevant in a general debate about the Bill, but they are totally irrelevant to what happened in the committee. Much of what she said, I think, will be relevant later, when we come to a general debate on the Public Sector Management Bill, but I have to say that it has no bearing whatsoever on what happened in the committee.

Mr Speaker, we have to be very careful that we do not see the committee system being subverted. When you get to the stage where a report as put forward purports to be a committee report but represents nothing but the personal opinions of the chair, then I think we are treading on dangerous ground. That, I submit, is what that so-called committee report does. I suggest quite strongly that most of it was not written by the secretary of the committee; it was written by the chair. You can tell which parts are so written because of the subjective nature of the material that is in there. So, Mr Speaker, I am a bit concerned that we are seeing, for the first time in the life of this Assembly, an attempt to subvert the committee structure and use it as some sort of a political springboard, which this Assembly has carefully avoided doing in its preceding six years of life.

Mr Speaker, much of what was in the report, as I have indicated in my dissenting report, I simply could not support. I received the draft one hour before it was to be debated in a committee meeting. I read it and I simply could not agree with most of the material that was in there because it did not derive from any of the evidence that was presented to the committee. It merely represented the personal view of its author. I am nobody's rubber stamp, Mr Speaker, as you well know, having known me for over 20 years. I explained in my dissenting report why I dissented. I think my reasons are quite substantive. I indicated the sections of the report which I did not fully support, and I also went on to indicate some aspects of the report I did agree with.

I think that we need to look at what the committee did, Mr Speaker, to test the validity of this report that has been put to the Assembly. The committee had one public hearing. It heard from four officials of the ACT Government Service, who presented the Government's view, and it heard from one official of the Community and Public Sector Union. The four officials of the ACT Government seemed, on the evidence that they presented, by and large to support the Government's proposal. The one CPSU representative said he strongly opposed it and would not agree with it. On the basis of that, what can the committee do? There was no expert opinion, as I pointed out in my

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