Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3016 ..
MRS CARNELL (continuing):
There is a very definite role for the Social Policy Committee in inputting into this assessment process and the way we go with a new agreement, but I do not support the approach that has been taken here to appoint a select committee with terms of reference that really do not look so much at a new agreement as at the very definite gaps in the old one. Bryan Woodford has very adequately spelt out those gaps and they are being spelt out through the process that is currently in place. I have absolutely no problems with the Social Policy Committee being part of this process, but I am sure that members of this Assembly would agree that we are not in the business of reinventing the wheel. What we are after is very good outcomes for the people of the Territory, particularly people with disabilities.
MS TUCKER (11.07): Mr Speaker, I move the following amendment:
Omit "the Assembly appoint a Select Committee to", substitute "the Standing Committee on Social Policy".
I have listened with interest to the discussion. I put this amendment up because it is our view that it is more appropriate that the Social Policy Committee look at this issue. It is obviously well within its terms of reference. I note Ms Follett's reasons for proposing a select committee. I would welcome her input into the Social Policy Committee. I believe that the mechanisms of this place allow her to be formally part of the committee if she so wishes. The rest of the committee would be happy with that. That is something that we can discuss later.
Ms Follett believes that we should look at this matter in a certain way. Mrs Carnell has a different view. I tend to agree that there is already so much work going on in this area that we do not want to reinvent the wheel. One reason I want the reference to come to the Social Policy Committee is that the load on the secretariat would be greater if we appointed a select committee. I was advised that that would be the case. I understand the strains that being involved in another committee would impose on the secretariat and on members of this place.
I acknowledge Ms Follett's point that we have a mental health inquiry coming up and that it will be a big job. In light of what Mrs Carnell said, I think that at the beginning of next year the committee will need to discuss exactly what our role will be in this very important area. We will have discussions on that. I definitely support the view that we need to look at this issue and that we should have more input.
MR MOORE (11.09): Mr Speaker, I listened carefully to what the Chief Minister had to say about the doubling up of work by the committee that looks at this matter, whether it is a select committee or the Social Policy Committee. That effectively pre-empts how a committee might go about its work. If this matter goes to the Social Policy Committee, as is my preferred stance, the committee could determine that it will keep a watching brief. A select committee could do likewise. Having heard the explanation of the Chief Minister, I think it is most likely that the Social Policy Committee or a select committee would take that course. The possibility of a watching brief is a strong