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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 6 Hansard (23 May) . . Page.. 1715 ..

Mr Humphries: But why an academic organisation?

MS TUCKER: Because sometimes it is useful to get academics into discussion groups. They have a particular perspective, Mr Humphries, and people in the community would like to see a broad representation on this committee.

Mr Kaine was outraged at what he perceived as double standards. This is not just a Greens motion; this is the recommendation of a committee of which Mr Kaine was a member. It said, "We would like to see an independent forum, an independent panel, not an Assembly committee, look at how implementation of this major restructure is carried out by this minority Government". Mr Kaine also asked why we wanted to look at this particular legislation; what is so special about it? What is so special about it is that, in the view of many people in the community, it is a major restructure of delivery of services in government, and that is why you have people in the community who are extremely concerned. I am amazed that Mr Kaine does not realise the significance of this legislation, which gives us even more reason to make sure that there is an external body. There was another question about the Social Policy Committee and education. I understand that the Government has a number of advisory committees, a number of groups who advise them and who make comment on what is happening at the moment in society.

The fact that there is no formal documentation of reporting mechanisms here seems to be a problem for Mrs Carnell. She thought that was a real flaw. I am sure that there are many ways that such a group can report. If they report to a Minister, the Minister can table that document and we can all look at it. This group would not report just to the Minister; this group can report to anyone they like. They can report to the media, if they want to. This is about accountability, and that is what the community wants to see happening in this major change in delivery of government services.

I repeat that this is not a motion just from the Greens; this is what came out of a unanimous report of a committee inquiry in this place, and it has been treated with great disrespect by this minority Government. That is why we have put up this motion, and we hope that in future we will see a little more respect. I remember very clearly that in my first days here Mrs Carnell repeatedly stated the importance of committee work, that she likes open and consultative government, that this is a minority government, that the Liberals want to hear what everyone else has to say here. It does not feel like that.

Amendment negatived.

Original question resolved in the affirmative.

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