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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 10 Hansard (5 September) . . Page.. 3134 ..

Motion (by Mr Moore) put:

That the debate be adjourned.

The Assembly voted -

AYES, 9	 	NOES, 8

Mrs Carnell	Mr Berry
Mr Cornwell	Ms Follett
Mr De Domenico	Ms Horodny
Mr Hird		Ms McRae
Mr Humphries	Ms Reilly
Mr Kaine	Ms Tucker
Mr Moore	Mr Whitecross
Mr Osborne	Mr Wood
Mr Stefaniak

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Report on Consultation with Assembly Committees

Debate resumed from 18 April 1996, on motion by Mr Wood:

That the report be noted.

MR HIRD (11.53): Mr Speaker, Report No. 13 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts is a well-documented report. Indeed, it should be borne in mind that our Government has been very open with the parliament regarding appointments generally. In all other jurisdictions throughout Australia it is recognised that such appointments are the prerogative of the Executive. This is in accordance with the principles of accountability and ministerial responsibility to the parliament. However, this Government has operated within the spirit of the principles of open and accountable government by consulting outside the terms of the current legislation.

There is a benefit in keeping this process informal, but little real benefit in giving the process a statutory basis. The committee does indicate an emphasis on process rather than on outcomes. There are a number of advantages in keeping the process of consultation informal rather than resorting to statute. This is particularly the case with TOCs. As commercial entities, TOCs operate in an environment distinct from other areas of government. The report fails to recognise that a different framework - that of the Corporations Law - applies to TOCs. Appropriate accountability arrangements are built into this legislative framework, and the vehicle for applying them is the memorandum and articles of association. The Minister, who has the power to appoint and remove directors of TOCs under their articles of association, is ultimately accountable to the parliament.

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