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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 255 ..

MR CORBELL (4.14): There has been increasing invective in this chamber over the past three days directed towards Mr Berry, simply because he is prepared to state a view that is supported by members of the Labor Party. Mr Speaker, not only the Pettit inquiry and the report from Professor Pettit but also the whole range of views right across this Assembly for a number of years now have continually emphasised the importance of including a broader range of people in the formal decision-making processes of this chamber.

We come to the test. The test is: Are we going to include more people? Are we going to include them in the deliberative processes of this place or a committee of this place? The answer we get from the very same people who have advocated the inclusion of a greater number of people has been, "No, it is not acceptable. You can come along and have your say, but you cannot vote; you cannot formally participate". That is contradictory - there is no doubt about it - and that is hypocritical.

It is important, on such a significant review and such a significant inquiry by a select committee into governance of the Territory, that as broad and as reasonable a number of people as possible be allowed to participate, to vote and to resolve what we believe is an appropriate course of action arising out of the review of governance. That has not occurred in this case. Five is a reasonable number of members on a select committee. It allows for a broader range of views and for a greater degree of expertise and experience to be represented in the deliberations of the committee.

It is hypocritical in the extreme to argue day after day, month after month, indeed year after year, for a greater involvement by a greater number of people in the decision-making processes of this house and then to say, "You can come along and have a chat, but you cannot vote". That is why the Labor Party is supporting Mr Berry's proposal.

MR SPEAKER: In relation to this matter and the matter of members attending committees, I would simply draw members' attention to standing order 234.

MR HARGREAVES (4.16): I will not take up very much time of the Assembly. There are a couple of observations I would like to make as a new member. I note the Government's commitment to improving the quality of governance in this town through the commissioning of the Pettit report. I think we all share a commitment to improving the standard of governance that we deliver to the people of the ACT, although we may often fight over the form and the process. One of the words used is "inclusiveness". Before members vote on this motion, I would ask them to consider where the harm is in including five people instead of three or four. Members opposite seem to think that the governance of this Territory is an auction. They are saying that we have to stack the committees. Perhaps it was from the people opposite and their antecedents that the Labor Party learnt how to stack. They are doing a wonderful job.

I do not believe that the Government has any commitment to Pettit. They have already implemented two of the most significant recommendations he made, so this committee stands a very real chance of just paying lip-service to something already decided. We have a fifth Minister. That was a recommendation. We could not wait for that.

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