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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 42 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

(2) The Committee be composed of:

(a) one Member to be nominated by the Government;

(b) one Member to be nominated by the Opposition; and

(c) one Member to be nominated by either the Independent Members or the ACT Greens;

to be notified in writing to the Speaker by 2.00 p.m. on Thursday, 30 April 1998.

(3) The Committee report by the first sitting day of August 1998.

(4) The foregoing provisions of this resolution have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.

Quite obviously, a number of members are not happy with the arrangements in regard to these new committees, but I remind those members that these arrangements are very much in line with the recommendations of Professor Pettit and his report. It is a committee style that both Mr Rugendyke and I advocated during the election campaign and that I had been advocating for a long time before that. I think it will be a worthwhile exercise.

The two major criticisms by some people are that the Public Accounts Committee and the Scrutiny of Bills Committee will disappear and that this will lessen the scrutiny of the Government. In response to the first complaint, I would argue that the responsibilities of both of those committees will be taken up by new committees. I am quite comfortable with the new arrangement. I think this new model gives members the potential to scrutinise departments and Ministers to a far greater extent through specialist committees that follow a department and a Minister from day one. I commend the motions to the Assembly.

MR BERRY (11.45): At the outset I indicate that later on I will be moving amendments to this proposal which has been put forward by Mr Osborne. Let the record show that this proposal was first advocated by members of the Executive once they were elected and by the Chief Minister. The very first question that arises from that revelation is: Why would the Executive propose a particular committee process? It is the one they are most comfortable with. The Chief Minister, with the support of the Osborne group, made it clear that this was the committee process which was going to be put in place in the Legislative Assembly.

Mr Osborne: I raise a point of order. I think Mr Berry has his facts wrong. I said quite clearly that this model was something that I had been speaking about for nearly 12 months. I do not know where Wayne gets his facts from.

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