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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 747 ..

MR BERRY: I move:

(1) Omit paragraph (3), substitute the following paragraph:

"(3) That the resolution of the Assembly of 28 April 1998 which established the General Purpose Standing Committees be amended by omitting paragraph (4) and substituting the following paragraph:

`(4) The Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety and the Standing Committee on Urban Services shall consist of four members and each of the other General Purpose Standing Committees shall consist of three members.'.".

(2) Add the following new paragraph:

"(6) Mr Corbell be appointed a member of the Standing Committee on Urban Services.".

The amendments go to the issue which I spoke about earlier. They expand the Urban Services Committee to include Mr Corbell. I do not need to expand on the reasons that I have already given. I think they are fairly straightforward. This is not, as Mr Osborne said, "playing silly buggers". This is about a sensible move to use a broader base of talent in our committee system. This is something that the Government has always supported and that I trust that Mr Osborne has always supported.

I have just been advised that the revised amendments are just about to be circulated while I speak. Mr Speaker, I am therefore forced to go through some of the issues, which I said I would not do. I apologise to those members who may feel that they have been misled by my earlier statement. I did not intend to mislead anybody.

Mr Quinlan: There is a lot of that going around - misleading stuff.

MR BERRY: Somebody just reminded me that it is a bit catching if you hang around this place, but I had no such ill intent. These are purely amendments to expand the membership of the Standing Committee on Urban Services. They are not "silly buggers", as they have been described by Mr Osborne. This is a sensible move to broaden the base of talent which can be used in our committees. Committees are an avenue for members to express themselves in policy terms, and I am sure that the addition of Mr Corbell to the Urban Services Committee will improve the quality of work that it is able to put into its reports to this Assembly. It is not as if some mortal damage will be done to the committee because it has been expanded to four. It seems as though that is the view of some of the members opposite. I think that is a little bit off. Mr Corbell will be making a positive contribution to the committee and the work that it does on behalf of this Assembly. When committee recommendations come back to this place, they are subject to the will of the Assembly. I think it would be quite miserable of members to refuse us this opportunity to include Mr Corbell on the Standing Committee on Urban Services.

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