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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (24 November) . . Page.. 2773 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Minister, with respect, you are being evasive. I am asking a simple question.

MR BERRY: No, I am telling you that I do not know. I am not being evasive.

And then the chair intervened to break off this particular incident. So, Mr Speaker, as you can see, when it comes to being consistent - - -

Mr Berry: That was groundbreaking stuff, Gary.

MR HUMPHRIES: It does go on; I beg your pardon:

MR HUMPHRIES: I am not asking you whether you know. I want to know whether your advisers can tell you. I am certain Dr Scott knows the answer to this question.

MR BERRY: I shall ask them in due course.

MR HUMPHRIES: All right, would you ask them now.


MR HUMPHRIES: So that we, the Estimates Committee, can have an answer.

MR BERRY: Next question please?

So, do not come into this place, Mr Berry, and pretend that we were all born yesterday and that this supposedly outrageous behaviour about Ministers not letting members of the Public Service answer questions is some newfangled, terrible invasion of the rights of the committee invented by the Carnell Government. It is the principle that you used when you were in government and it is hypocrisy on your part to argue that what is sauce for the goose is not going to be sauce for the gander.

Mr Speaker, this whole committee report reeks of political opportunism, of "let us get the Government no matter which way we can". It is a very poor use of Assembly resources. It is a very poor use and waste of Assembly time and money. I think we should change this approach in the future.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (12.05): Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister in her comments suggested that one way of dealing with the Estimates Committee would be to have a review of the Estimates Committee and the Estimates Committee process. It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that that is indeed a sensible thing for this Assembly to do. The reason I think it is a sensible thing to do, Mr Speaker, is that there has always been contention about the way the Estimates Committee operates.

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