Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 1483 ..
MR KAINE (4.04): Mr Speaker, I endorse Ms Tucker's remarks on this matter. The Deputy Chief Minister has just said that this document - it is not a report, it is a statement - contains an idea. That is all it is. It is an idea. Yet the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister expect this place to take their idea and run with it. I do not buy that, Mr Speaker. I think there are some aspects of this idea that I would want to proceed to look at in some depth. For example, I am told on page 5 that "briefly" this idea would include a number of things. One of them is the "provision of a small, high level secretariat". What does that mean? Does that mean one assistant secretary, one first assistant secretary, a deputy secretary? I do not know what that means, and I would like to pursue that and other matters.
Mr Humphries: I rise on a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Government is not proposing that Mr Kaine accept this report today. It is not proposing that any part of it be implemented. Mr Kaine said we want to run with it. The motion before the house is - - -
Mr Corbell: Is this a point of order, Mr Speaker?
MR KAINE: This is not a point of order. Tell him to sit down.
MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.
MR KAINE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I repeat: This is not a report. As the Deputy Chief Minister says, it is a ministerial statement that refers to an idea. I am not in the business of picking up an idea on the run, without knowing completely and fully what that idea entails. The Chief Minister suggests, "Because I put it on the table, you should adopt it now". I am not persuaded.
Ms Tucker is correct. This idea needs to be referred to a committee of this Assembly that can look at it objectively and dispassionately and decide whether it is good enough and whether it is properly spelt out and fleshed out for us to understand what it is and how the Chief Minister expects it to operate. That is a perfectly legitimate function. The standing orders allow for this to occur. Mr Quinlan should not have to put forward an amendment to the motion to have it done. It makes you wonder what is so urgent about the Chief Minister's idea that it has to be pushed through without discussion. I do not buy it. I endorse the comments made by Ms Tucker. I know that Mr Quinlan has a foreshadowed amendment, which I can indicate now I fully support.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Quinlan, would you like to move your amendment now? Excuse me, Mr Stanhope, but it seems to me that we might progress things a little bit if he does that.
MR QUINLAN (4.07): I move:
Omit all words after "That", substitute "the paper be referred to the Standing Committee for the Chief Minister's Portfolio for inquiry and report.".