Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 3 Hansard (28 May) . . Page.. 749 ..
MR CORBELL (continuing):
If we are serious about enlarging committees to take greater advantage of the skills and abilities of members, then why are we saying that we can make an exception in one case but not in the other? Is it purely for political motives or is it because we believe in the principle? I would have to say at the moment that the Government's position is that it is purely a matter of political motive, not the principle of enlarging committees to allow people to participate and allow the Assembly to get greater talent and greater ability out of the committees that it establishes. I think it is a reasonable proposition and one which the Assembly should consider very carefully in the light of the decision that it has just made about the Justice and Community Safety Committee. The Government's position is illogical. You should be allowing the opportunity for a greater pool of ability and a greater pool of the strengths of Assembly members in the committee structure.
MS TUCKER (4.22): I see quite a difference between having two members of the crossbenches on a committee and having an extra person from either the Labor Party or the Liberal Party. That is because, in my experience of the committees, I can see that the Labor Party and the Liberal Party have more of an inclination to politicise the work of the committees. I cannot support having two Labor members on one committee. I would be happy to see another Liberal person join that committee and take the membership to five.
Mr Humphries: Whom do you suggest?
MS TUCKER: I realise that that is an issue. I see that as a problem; but I cannot support this proposal, for that reason. I think it is a quite illogical argument, having watched how the Liberal Party responded on a couple of occasions last year in my Social Policy Committee. The crossbenchers have normally shown greater independence, because they are separate from the two major parties. There is a quite strong argument to support Mr Kaine going onto a committee as an independent thinker in this place, but not for having two Labor members on one committee.
That the amendments (Mr Berry's) be agreed to.
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 7 NOES, 10 Mr Berry Ms Carnell Mr Corbell Mr Cornwell Mr Hargreaves Mr Hird Mr Kaine Mr Humphries Mr Quinlan Mr Moore Mr Stanhope Mr Osborne Mr Wood Mr Rugendyke Mr Smyth Mr Stefaniak Ms TuckerQuestion so resolved in the negative.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.