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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2379 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

In fact, I had suggested to her that the easiest way out of it was for the two of you combined to pass this Bill in principle so as to give a clear message that you were prepared to do something but then to send it to a committee. Passing the Bill in principle would give an indication of where you were going but would say that on the details you were prepared to change. If you were to accept getting this Bill through the in-principle stage and then adjourning it, I could probably persuade Mr Berry that that would be an acceptable way to deal with it. Even better would be to say, "The legislation is on the table, so we will consider it". It would be perfectly normal practice to agree to the Bill in principle and be open-minded enough to change any of the details.

Mr Speaker, I now have in my hand the document I requested. It is a copy of the discussion paper "Community consultation on social policy issues" from the Standing Committee on Social Policy, which Ms Tucker chairs. This is the issue that she drove. The paper states:

There are many avenues for consultation available to the ACT community. These include processes established by the Government such as Ministerial Advisory Councils; avenues available through the ACT Legislative Assembly such as the Committee system ...

It goes on to talk about what we want to consult the community on, how to identify the community, and so on. There is a whole series of things, including some processes in the ACT. I have to ask Ms Tucker: Is the process that you are proposing now mentioned anywhere in this document? Of course it is not. Suppose that somebody had come to you and said, "We think that what you should be doing for consultation is getting legislation through first then asking what we think of it. We think that would be great". Of course you would not have accepted that. You would have dismissed it, and you would have been scathing about it. People will see through this. No matter how hard we try to make this a genuine inquiry and no matter how prepared we are to make changes after the event, people will still consider it a phoney inquiry. To a certain extent at least, it will bring my own committee into disrepute, no matter how hard we try. As such, it will bring the committee system into disrepute and - - -

Mrs Carnell: Oh, Michael!

MR MOORE: Yes, it will. I am not saying that it is going to bring it totally into disrepute. It is going to have a significant impact and, as such, it will also have an impact on this Assembly as a whole. Those of us who have been here since self-government know what it feels like when the place is brought into disrepute. Those of you who have been in my office know that I keep there a banner from the Canberra Times that says "House of farce". I know what it feels like to be associated with that. Mr Berry, Mr Humphries, Mr Stefaniak and Mr Wood, who were here from the start, know what it feels like. It is interesting that not one of the people pictured on that banner is still in this Assembly.

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