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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 256 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Mr Humphries was doing a sterling job as Minister for Health, but we still had to have a fifth Minister long before we could think about it. We had to have the committees shadow agencies and ministries - another recommendation. We could not wait to do that either. The set of committees which existed in the previous Assembly were the one element of this Assembly's reputation that was in good standing, but we had to change things and pre-empt Pettit.

Mr Moore: It got to good standing because of the changes, did it not, Gary?

MR HARGREAVES: If the committees were not in good standing, it was because of the reputation of those members who directed them. However, I do not believe that they had a bad reputation. I think they had a good reputation, and I am very happy to say so. This committee is not up for auction. If we are truly committed to bringing in changes to the system, if we are truly committed to inclusiveness and all that sort of stuff, let me throw the gauntlet down. Back it up. There are people on both sides of this house and on the crossbenches who are really committed to making the thing work if we can. We can tinker, we can argue at the edges, we can interject across the chamber, and we can try to denigrate and ridicule everybody else, but at the end of the day all you do is denigrate this Assembly.

A significant number of members in this house were not here before the election. You have no idea of the commitment that we have to fair governance in this town because, firstly, you have not asked and, secondly, we would not tell you anyway because we do not trust you yet. We want to have a fair look at it; you want to stack the committee. You want to make sure that your will prevails. You are not prepared to have that will tested. You are not prepared to let Ms Tucker, Mr Rugendyke, Mr Osborne and new members like me have a go at what you have already decided will happen. The shame of it all is that you go outside and you pontificate on fairness and good governance. Quite frankly, you are not going to do it. Why do you not just allow the people to decide? Allow a free vote here. You could not give yourselves a free vote, could you? I challenge you to have a committee of five and have your predilections tested.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (4.21): I would like to tackle a couple of arguments here. Mr Corbell suggested that we need to ensure that as many people as possible are involved in the decision-making. Of course, whatever the size of the committee, all 17 members of the Assembly will be involved in the decision-making process. Mr Speaker, to a certain extent, I believe I pre-empted this debate by suggesting that I would be happy to nominate a committee of four in order to include you.

Mr Berry: No; we made the decision days ago.

MR MOORE: Mr Berry corrects me. I am quite happy to be corrected on that. Mr Speaker, I was informed by your Manager of Government Business - and my Manager of Government Business, come to think of it - that you would be prepared to go on the committee as the Liberal nominee. That was what I was told. That met my concern. I thought it was appropriate for the Speaker to go on the committee.

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