Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3139 ..
Mr Kaine: On a point of order, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker: Does Ms Tucker have to put up with being harassed by a Minister when she is trying to make a point? I do not think we should permit it.
Mr Moore: I apologise, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker.
MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hird): I uphold the point of order. Ms Tucker, would you address your remarks to the Chair, please.
MS TUCKER: Certainly. What I believe this will do, as I said, is bring this place into greater dispute than it is in at this point in time, because it is obviously a political action by the Liberals and their supporters and it is not in the interests of the parliamentary processes at all. I think it is a very strange thing for them to be doing. It is also strange that you would have a Minister questioning his own public servants on a particular subject. What does that lead to? Where do we get to with this? These are the sorts of questions that I think we should have time to actually discuss and consider as an Assembly.
We have just been given an amendment that says, "Ten minutes, right. We have got 10 minutes, guys. We will work this out". We have 10 minutes to work out the membership of the committee, but we now have an extra issue to address. For the first time since I have been in this Assembly, we have a Minister who is going to join a committee to scrutinise his own Government and question his own public servants. I think it is very odd. I do not like it at all. I think other people should object.
The other issue that I am concerned about here is that we are starting to blur the lines. We have people here who talk about inclusive processes; we had the Pettit inquiry; and we have suggestions made that we should all get warm and fuzzy and work together. But when we see processes being hijacked by the use of numbers in this place, it makes a total joke of talking about inclusive processes.
We are once again seeing an attempt by this Government to muddy the waters of the separation of the Assembly, the Executive and the committees of the Assembly. It is quite clearly of concern, because it can easily be seen to be blurring those lines. I guess the issue for me is that it is challenging those fundamental conventions of our system. When I first came here, interestingly enough, Mr Moore was always so respectful of them and careful about them, but he seems to have changed, and he sits there now happily supporting Mr Humphries. Mr Osborne said that this is about looking at the Government's claim that superannuation can only be paid by selling ACTEW. He said, "This committee has to prove to me that the Government is wrong and there are other ways to pay off this debt. That is what this is about". If we accept that, then for Mr Humphries to come on it is a joke, and I would totally distance myself from the whole process.
MR KAINE (6.51): I am afraid I have to agree with Ms Tucker on this matter. Over the last three years or so we have seen some strange propositions coming from the Government that seem to indicate that they have lost sight of some basic things like the separation of the Executive and the legislature. The Executive has a role to play and the legislature has a role to play, and you cannot substitute one for the other. It would be