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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 87 ..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

significantly to these reviews. However, the Government has not attempted in this response to prejudge the outcomes from them. Again, the Social Policy Committee's report will have a great deal of influence over the setting of Government priorities in these areas after the reviews have been completed.

Mr Speaker, the Government supports the general thrust of the committee's report and addresses each recommendation in the response which I have tabled today. I must reiterate that, while we are making significant progress, it is a complex area and there are always more needs than can be met from within the available budget. However, the Government is firmly committed to continue to look at ways of improving the services to children in the at-risk group. I commend to the members of this Assembly the Government's response to the Social Policy Committee's report on services for children at risk in the ACT.

Debate (on motion by Ms Tucker) adjourned.


Debate resumed.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (4.08): Mr Speaker, I enter into this debate to support the motions Mr Osborne has moved and to oppose Mr Berry's amendments to the motions. I have to say that I was struck as I listened to Mr Berry's remarks, in particular, by how little has changed, how little has been appreciated and how little has been learnt in the last six months by, at least, Mr Berry. Perhaps I cannot tar his colleagues with the same brush. I was reminded of a description of the Bourbons by, I think, Talleyrand in the last century. He said, "They have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing".

That sounded very much like Mr Berry. Nothing appeared to have changed. It was as if the whole election, and the knocking down of the Labor Party's support to close to 27 per cent, had made no difference at all. It was going to continue business as usual. Mr Speaker, I say that because in the course of those remarks by Mr Berry I heard so many comments that smacked of the usual lack of regard for what is, in fact, the case on the floor of this chamber with respect to interaction between members and the operation of committees. His comments might impress those who have not served on committees before, but those of us who have are not much impressed by what he had to say.

First of all, Mr Speaker, Mr Berry, throughout his comments, consistently perpetuated the myth that we are abolishing the Scrutiny of Bills Committee and Public Accounts Committee functions. He said that because there were no committees with those names there was no function of that kind. That is nonsense. Mr Osborne's motion is quite explicit. In fact, I suspect that he lifted paragraphs (2) and (3) of his motion directly from

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