Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 88 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):
the motions which established the original Public Accounts Committee and the original Scrutiny of Bills Committee. They are direct reflections of what is the existing practice of this Assembly with respect to those matters. There can be no rational suggestion that the Assembly is abandoning either of those functions merely because committees with those names no longer exist.
Mr Wood seemed to be distressed that as a member of, say, the Chief Minister's Portfolio Committee he might not be able to go to meetings of public accounts committees from around Australia because that title was no longer employed in the title of his committee.
Mr Wood: No, I did not say that at all.
MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I am quite certain that that will not be the case; that he will be able to attend such meetings if he wants to, and that no-one will regard the ACT any less because we do not have that function under the title of its committee but we do continue that function, very clearly, within the work of a particular committee.
Mr Wood: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.
MR SPEAKER: I am glad you are back in your chair to make it, Mr Wood.
Mr Wood: Mr Humphries is misquoting me. I simply raise the point of order to make that statement. He should listen to what I say. I am sure he did listen. He just wants to use the words in his own way.
MR SPEAKER: You were out of your chair. You probably misunderstood him.
MR HUMPHRIES: I will study carefully what you had to say, Mr Wood.
Mr Speaker, Mr Berry also made the point that no-one in the previous Assembly ever called for a change of the committee structure. That might be a persuasive argument for not changing things. It is a weak argument, I would have thought; but, supposing it were true, it would be an argument of sorts in favour of not making a change. But, Mr Speaker, I have to say that it is not true. There have been calls for change in committee structures. I would like to quote from one particular member of this chamber who spoke in a debate on 4 December last year. I will read a couple of paragraphs. I quote:
With the agreement of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment, -
this is with reference to the Public Accounts Committee -
an Auditor-General's report dealing with contaminated sites was referred to that committee -
that is, the Planning and Environment Committee -