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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 221 ..

MR CORBELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, I wish to address one particular point in relation to Mr Moore. Mr Moore raised the point that he would be interested in seeing the Speaker as a member of the committee. We have no in-principle objection to that, but when we consider membership of the committee in the debate this afternoon we want to consider having maybe five members on the committee so that we have a fair balance proportionally, as standing orders require, of Opposition, Government and crossbench members on the committee. We are open to discussion on that. I am sure there will be discussion throughout the morning as to whether or not there needs to be a Government member plus the Speaker, or whether there needs to be simply the Speaker as Speaker and as a member of the Government party.

Mr Speaker, most importantly, our concern is to ensure that the select committee operates in a way which ensures that detailed and serious consideration can be given to many of the recommendations of Pettit and that in no way does the Assembly attempt further to pre-empt what that committee may come down with, because, obviously, one of the strengths of this parliament is its committee system. I would hope that the committee would be able to present a bipartisan report, but we will wait and see the deliberations on that. That may not occur. I would hope that we are able to come forward with a strong set of recommendations that will continue the process of creating a still more open and more accountable government and operation of the parliament in the ACT.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (11.28): Mr Speaker, just to take this debate about membership one stage further - it is probably not relevant, but no-one has taken the point of order - I will make my comments as well. I think it would be better - - -

Mr Berry: It is allowed now. You can just do it any time you want.

MR HUMPHRIES: Yes, that is right, Wayne. You do not carry a chip on your shoulder, do you? No, not at all.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Just settle down.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I think it is probably better not to have a large committee. I would suggest that, if the Labor Party feels that the Speaker equates with the Liberal Party, we are quite content for there to be only one nominee from the Liberal Party on that committee, and that would be - - -

Ms Carnell: That will be the Speaker.

MR HUMPHRIES: That would be the Speaker.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (11.28), in reply: I would like to thank members for their support for this referral. I hope that every member of the committee - I am sure this will be the case - will address the Report of the Review of the Governance of the ACT with an open mind. I am sure everyone would be very concerned if this was played in any way along party lines.

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