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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3152 ..

MR KAINE (7.45): I just want to fill a hiatus in the debate and say that I am happy to accept the nomination. I indicated earlier that I had undertaken to Ms Tucker that, should my nomination exclude her from the committee, I would withdraw my nomination. I was happy to do that. By the same token, I am also happy to do the work that is required as a member of this committee. If that is necessary now to fill a vacancy, I will accept the nomination. But I must say while I am on my feet that, in all my years in this place, I have never seen such childishness and pettiness from people who are supposed to be adult persons. This would have to be the ultimate dummy-spit in 10 years of self-government. I find it, frankly, quite offensive that people can behave in this way.

This is not a frivolous matter. It is a very serious matter. I am astonished at the way people have behaved. I just reiterate that I am, as always, prepared to do some work in this place, and I wish that everybody else here was prepared to take up the burden and do a bit as well, without having conditions attached to it and having the opportunity to opt out when it does not suit them and when things do not run the way they want them to. We have obligations here as elected members, and we are not free to have little fits of petulance and childishness and to let that govern the way that we do business here.

Amendment agreed to.

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General, Minister for Justice and Community Safety and Minister Assisting the Treasurer) (7.47): Mr Deputy Speaker, I have to say that the process that has been employed here is entirely unsatisfactory. Mr Berry over there smirks wildly, like a Cheshire cat. He thinks it is funny that the process of the Assembly has reached the point where he is able to get the sort of committee on this that he wants.

Mr Berry: I am not smiling. I am laughing at you.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Let us not add to the unsatisfactory situation. Let us just get this done.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Deputy Speaker, I think that what we have here is an entirely unsatisfactory situation.

Mr Berry: On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: What is the Minister up to?

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Minister is speaking to the motion.

Mr Berry: I thought we were past that point.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: No. The Minister is speaking to the motion.

MR HUMPHRIES: I know that you are tired, Mr Berry, and the feeling is mutual; but the fact is that, as I say, this is an entirely unsatisfactory process. We will not end up with a balanced committee under the present proposals, and Mr Berry's laughter indicates quite clearly that that was exactly his intention. You people have been playing games all afternoon on this question. Now you say, "This is a perfectly satisfactory outcome.

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