Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 742 ..
MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (3.54): Mr Speaker, the Government does not oppose the amendment which Mr Kaine has moved in this place, with the proviso that it does not lead to further changes in other committees.
Ms Tucker: How can you do that?
MR HUMPHRIES: We can do that, Ms Tucker, by simply asking members whether they are prepared to isolate this exception to the rule that there be proportionality in committee membership.
Ms Tucker: There were four on the Planning and Environment Committee last time. You have to look at each one individually.
MR HUMPHRIES: That is true, but there was agreement about that. I am saying that, if there is not agreement about other extensions, then we should not do those. If Mr Berry or someone else in this debate will rise and indicate that they will not in turn wish to move an amendment to, for example, the Standing Committee on Urban Services, then we would be happy to support Mr Kaine's amendment; but in the event that there is a further amendment I cannot logically say to this Assembly that we would support Mr Kaine going onto the Justice Committee but not a second Labor member being appointed to the Urban Services Committee. That would be illogical. If we want to extend that concept - - -
Mr Corbell: What is illogical is your opposition, not how you vote on it.
MR HUMPHRIES: They are very fractious this afternoon, are they not, Mr Speaker? That is the position the Government takes.
MR BERRY (3.56): Mr Speaker, we support the amendment that has been moved by Mr Kaine. Mr Kaine's continuing service on that committee will ensure that it performs a much more efficient role for the Assembly. Mr Kaine's wide experience will be a major contribution which will be welcomed by all members on that committee. Mr Kaine has already indicated his agreement to be on the committee. A willing horse is worth much more than many unwilling ones. He has announced his wish to retain the position. I do not want to get mixed up in the divisions in the Liberal Party about this. I trust that the Liberals will continue to support Mr Kaine's appearance on that committee, whatever the Labor Party decides to do.
In a most curious turn of events and logic, Mr Humphries is saying, "We too think it is a good idea for Mr Kaine to be on that committee, but not if the Labor Party moves to expand the membership of the Standing Committee on Urban Services". He says, "It is all right for us to have a distorted view on committee membership, as long as the Labor Party does not share it". It seems to be the oddest approach to this issue. We will move an amendment to appoint Mr Corbell as an additional member on the Standing Committee on Urban Services. We support both amendments.