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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 748 ..

MR BERRY (continuing):

For the same reasons as the Assembly endorsed Mr Kaine's attendance on the Justice and Community Safety Committee, Mr Corbell is surely entitled to be appointed to the Standing Committee on Urban Services. There is no difference. The precedent has been accepted by the Assembly, and I think it should be followed in respect of Mr Corbell. That does not rule out different views being held. If the Assembly decides, in its wisdom or otherwise, that in this instance it does not believe that the same principles should apply to both committees, that would be a curious position for the Assembly to adopt. It nevertheless is one that it is open to the Assembly to adopt. The Government has done curious things before, and something else that is curious will not really make it much different. It is strange logic to say that it can apply in one place and not in the other; but, if that is the decision of the Assembly, then I guess we will have to put up with it.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (4.18): Mr Speaker, I stand by what I said before. I do not believe that the committee should be expanded. I think that a precedent has been set by the first amendment. However, my party's view remains the same - that committees ought not to be enlarged in that way.

Mr Corbell: Except for that one.

MR HUMPHRIES: We did not support that, Mr Corbell. It is not our view that that should have happened.

Mr Corbell: Why did you not vote against it?

MR HUMPHRIES: We did vote against it. I am sorry that I was not able to call for a division at the time. It is my view that it is unfortunate, particularly when two members of the same party go on the one committee. There is a vague argument that Mr Kaine is not of the same party as whoever else is on that committee - Mr Osborne - as today has demonstrated, but there is no argument that Mr Corbell and Mr Hargreaves are always going to vote the same way on the committee. There would be a bloc of two votes on the one committee, and I certainly oppose that.

MR OSBORNE (4.19): As I have said previously, Mr Speaker, I will not be supporting these amendments. I do think that there is some sense in this motion. I cannot, for the life of me, work out why Mr Corbell is not on the Urban Services Committee as the spokesman for the Labor Party. I personally would love to see him on there. I think he would do a terrific job. He seems to know a little bit about planning, but unfortunately he is not there. I will not be supporting these amendments, for the reasons I did not support Mr Kaine's amendment.

MR CORBELL (4.20): Mr Humphries made a point in relation to the bloc of votes that he was afraid would exist on the Urban Services Committee if the Labor Party received the permission of the Assembly to appoint a second member. The point I would make in relation to Mr Humphries's argument is that, as he very well knows, all the issues that committees consider are presented in their reports to this place and ultimately this place decides whether or not issues should be followed through by the Assembly and indeed the Government. The Government still has enormous scope simply to ignore what committee reports say. It is really not a particularly strong argument on Mr Humphries's part.

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