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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (28 April) . . Page.. 97 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

... much has been said in and of this place with regard to adversarial politics. I have to observe that at times the piety and breastbeating associated with condemnation of an adversarial approach has been quite obviously contrived.

... ... ...

In my limited time in this place I have observed several initiatives taken in the name of a cooperative approach to government. I am yet to be convinced that any genuinely had that noble aim.

MR SPEAKER: The question is: That Mr Berry's amendments be agreed to.

MS TUCKER (4.43): Mr Speaker, pursuant to standing order 133, I move:

That the question be divided.

MR SPEAKER: Whereabouts exactly, Ms Tucker?

MS TUCKER: It is amendments (3) and (4). I want the question to be divided so that the issue of the planning and environment committees is addressed separately from the Scrutiny of Bills Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.

MR BERRY (4.43): One can pretty easily work out the numbers here. I get a smell in my nostrils that the Planning Committee and the Environment Committee are just about to be transformed into ashes and certainly will not be a part of the committee process in their own right for the future of this Assembly. Ms Tucker therefore has chosen the right course in seeking to divide these issues in order that they can be considered separately by the Assembly, and the rather more momentous debate about the Public Accounts Committee and the Scrutiny of Bills Committee can proceed.

There is another issue which arose in the course of the debate, Mr Speaker, which needs to be exposed. I heard this morning a little bit of a contest about whose idea these agency-style committees were. Mr Osborne claimed them as his idea. I rather think that they were the Government's idea. Mr Moore seemed to think they are a better idea, a better way of doing things. I was able to get a copy of the much bucketed Governing Canberra report which sets out exactly the same model. The agency committees are set out in the report and everybody would have seen it. At the time I thought I would like to find out what people said about this in the course of debate. The report said this:

It is envisaged that a small number of Assembly Committees, matching Ministries but not usually chaired by Ministers, should result in a streamlining of the Assembly's decision processes.

And so on. This report was almost universally bucketed. The Government ran for its life on it after it was bucketed a couple of times, but still these ideas persist.

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