Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 53 ..
MS TUCKER (continuing):
Mr Speaker, I seek leave to table the advice that I asked the Clerk for on Executive committees, because I believe that people, in the future, are going to be interested in seeing what I am referring to and what other members are referring to in debates about this restructuring of our committee system.
MS TUCKER: Basically, while it was Philip Pettit's choice not to look at these issues in depth, we as an Assembly should be very concerned to ensure that we are fully across both sides of the argument. That is all I am asking. I will support Mr Berry's amendments to Mr Osborne's motions today to establish a Public Accounts Committee and a Scrutiny of Bills Committee. When we actually establish the select committee, I am asking that we refer Pettit's proposals and the upgraded or changed Pettit proposals that we have been presented with today by Mr Osborne to that committee so that we can have a good look at them.
I could argue that the whole committee structure should not have been rearranged before such a committee has reported, but I do not think it has such worrying implications for democracy. It is not much more than an administrative restructure and it may well have some benefits. I am, however, very interested in how the functions of those committees may be changed. Obviously, Philip Pettit has suggestions there. I have no idea at this point what status those recommendations have in this place, that is, whether they, too, will be adopted straightaway or whether the select committee will have an opportunity to look at them first. That is a very unsatisfactory situation. If that is the way this Assembly is going to work, then we have certainly not made any gains in open and inclusive processes; to the contrary, in fact. I ask Mr Rugendyke particularly and Mr Osborne to support Mr Berry's amendments, which are basically about allowing reasonable discussion and information flow on the proposal to change the way we manage the Scrutiny of Bills Committee and the Public Accounts Committee before we change the system.
Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I seek leave to have incorporated in Hansard the advice to which Ms Tucker referred and which she tabled.
Document incorporated at Appendix 1.
MR WOOD (12.21): Mr Speaker, I claim to speak with some authority in this debate. At various times I have chaired each of the committees we are discussing in the main today, that is, the Public Accounts Committee and the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. My experience on those committees leads me to support very strongly their continued separate existence. Mr Moore claimed, when he spoke, an improved system. I might say that I was not greatly impressed by Mr Moore. I found him unconvincing, especially for his first speech from the ministerial benches. I would think it inappropriate for him to stand up and say that every time we present an alternative view we are somehow being negative. I am disappointed at that response.