Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1481 ..
MS CARNELL: No. Sorry. A ministerial statement - - -
MR SPEAKER: Order! Just a moment. We are still in debate.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I just make the point that it was the Assembly itself which asked us to come back with a model in August.
Ms Tucker: In consultation with the Chief Minister's Committee.
MR SPEAKER: Just a moment, please.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, it was the Assembly itself that asked us to come back in these sittings with a proposed model for an independent council. That is what we have done. The Assembly was very keen to ensure that an independent body that did have resourcing and so on was put in place. I am suggesting to the Assembly that possibly the best approach would be to be briefed and to determine whether there is a need for a referral.
MR SPEAKER: In which case I suggest that you move that the Assembly takes note of the paper.
MS CARNELL: I move:
That the Assembly takes note of the paper.
MS TUCKER (4.00): I was fascinated to hear Mrs Carnell say, on the spot, "What timeframe?". Basically, what this debate is about now is whether or not the Chief Minister's Committee has the opportunity to look at this issue. How can they possibly tell what the timeframe will be before they even realise that this is what is happening? We have just read this. It was my understanding from the debate that there would be consultation with the Chief Minister's Committee. It was certainly the will of a number of members of this Assembly even if it was not what actually got up at the end.
The point is that this is just so typical of the processes in this place. Suddenly the Chief Minister says, "We have to do this quickly. There is an urgency to it". We have been trying to get appropriate resourcing and so on for quite some time. It is time that the Government took this forum seriously. We now have an opportunity to get it right.
I am congratulating the Chief Minister on coming up with a model. It may be a very good model, and I hope that it is; but what we do have the right to do in this Assembly is to let an Assembly committee look at it. Maybe it will be a very short inquiry. At least the existing Competition Policy Forum needs an opportunity to talk about what they think about this. I would suggest that they are the people who have the greatest expertise. I am certainly interested in hearing what they would say. It may be a short inquiry, but the Chief Minister needs to give the committee an opportunity to talk about what they think the timeframe would be. It is certainly appropriate that they have an opportunity to work with this.