Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 220 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
I would ask members, particularly from the Labor Party and from the crossbenches, to consider how they feel about the Speaker being on that committee as well, thus bringing the extra knowledge and experience he has from the position in which he sits and from the way he sees the house, so that the committee can ensure that it takes into account the roles that he performs. When the motion relating to the membership of the committee comes before us, I hope that suggestion will receive widespread support.
I chaired a committee with four members on it throughout the last Assembly. It worked particularly effectively. This is slightly different because it would mean having two Liberal members. My nomination of you, Mr Speaker, will be much more as Speaker and the way you play your role in the Administration and Procedure Committee, rather than as a Liberal member. That would be the perception that I would want to put on that, although, obviously, you never lose sight of the fact that you are a member of the Liberal Party. I want to flag early notice that that is what I am considering, so that members can come back to me and say, "No, this is a crazy idea", or, "Yes, perhaps that has merit", and perhaps I can discuss it further. The principle behind this motion is the referral of that report to a select committee for proper consideration by this Assembly of the range of ideas that Professor Pettit has presented, from electoral reform right through to reform of the Assembly itself. I wish the members who are on that committee very well in that process.
MR RUGENDYKE (11.23): It is with great pleasure that I rise to welcome this reference to the select committee on behalf of Mr Osborne who is somewhat indisposed at the moment. He was last sighted heading down the corridor chasing a couple of his toddlers. It is now more than 12 months since Mr Osborne began to focus on reform of the Territory's system of government and it was a feature of his election campaign. That process has now completed another step with the report of the Pettit committee and is entering perhaps its most crucial phase with its referral to the select committee.
Pettit has given us some ideas. Some are acceptable to all parties and Independents in this place and, clearly, some are not. Now the select committee must weigh up the ideas and work out what is practical, achievable and, above all, in the best interests of the people of Canberra. I hope that the committee, with the input of all members in this place, will find common ground. We both look forward to working together on this.
MR CORBELL (11.24): Mr Speaker, the Labor Party certainly welcomes the proposal put forward by the Chief Minister to introduce a select committee to inquire into the various recommendations and points raised by Professor Pettit. The Labor Party has indicated already, though, its concern that the Assembly has pre-empted proper consideration of the issues in a number of areas that have been quite rightly raised by Professor Pettit. Indeed, our view all along has been that it is with ill haste that we rush to create new committees without fully examining and considering, as a parliament, the implications of how they may affect our operation as a legislature. We would have preferred to see the existing committee structure remain in place prior to consideration of the select committee's report. Nevertheless, the Assembly has agreed already to institute a new regime of committees, and the Labor Party, of course, accepts the decision of a majority of the Assembly.