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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 4 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 937 ..

MR BERRY (6.05): Mr Speaker - - -

Ms Carnell: Wayne, did we not just agree not to have any more speakers?

MR BERRY: This is on the amendment.

Ms Carnell: Yes; but we said that there would be no more speakers.

MR BERRY: This will take only five minutes. We are just going to tell you Labor's position in relation to the amendment. Labor will support the amendment that has been moved by Mr Kaine. Certainly, there has been no coherent argument against it. If members have an objection to it, I would like to hear the arguments against it. I do not think there can be any arguments, because it makes reasonable sense, particularly on the ground of the independence which is required of such a body.

MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (6.05): Mr Speaker, I rise on the basis that everyone else has spoken. We will, obviously, consult the Chief Minister's Portfolio Committee; but such things as resourcing, accountability arrangements and so on are issues that do affect government. Obviously, the Executive is the only entity that can actually determine them. What my amendment says is that we will report to the Assembly. Obviously, at that stage, if the Assembly is not happy with the approach that is put forward, the Assembly has every capacity to debate it and to suggest change. Nobody is suggesting that this amendment says that the Chief Minister will go ahead and do this without any input from the Assembly; quite the opposite. It requires the Chief Minister to report to the Assembly. Obviously, the Assembly can then make comment, as it can, by the way, during the process.

I think it is really important that, this time, this is set up properly. Last time, the Assembly set up the forum with no defined role, no accountability arrangements and no resourcing issues having been addressed. The Assembly just decided to go down a path of setting up the entity. Mr Speaker, I am suggesting this time, because we want it to work, that we really do need to get all of those things in place prior to the event. Let us make this work this time, Mr Speaker. This is a way to make sure that it works - to ensure that the Assembly and the relevant committee have input into the whole approach and that we do have an independent council with appropriate people on it that will be able to help in this process.

MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Kaine to close the debate, mercifully.

MR KAINE: If I need leave to speak again in connection with my amendment, then I so seek leave. I will be brief.

Leave granted.

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