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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (6 May) . . Page.. 1570 ..

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (10.42): Mr Speaker, the motion that Mr Stanhope has moved does raise a series of problems. I think the most significant of those problems is the fact that we are doubling up on committees. We already have a committee system which is well defined and which has clear responsibilities set out for the sort of work that should be done. More than anything, Mr Speaker, it seems to me that the Government's contracting and procurement processes are the very nub of the work of the public accounts committee of the Standing Committee for the Chief Minister's Portfolio which, as we have generally commented, is fairly ably chaired by Mr Quinlan, with the exception of a few times when I have disagreed with him. It is quite clear that Mr Stanhope, for some reason, seems to lack confidence in Mr Quinlan, if I can put in the standard wedge.

Mr Speaker, I think that the notion of inquiring into contracting and procurement processes is fine and I think it is something that the Government would welcome because, as a matter of course, we should be inquiring into those issues. There are other problems with the motion. The fact that we had to notify you, Mr Speaker, of the membership of the committee by 4.00 pm today does make for some awkwardness. I understand that there is an amendment around to deal with that. But it seems to me that the real issue here is which committee it should go to.

It is quite clear, Mr Speaker, that the public accounts committee in a range of parliaments looks into this very issue. It is the bread and butter of a public accounts committee. I have to say to Mr Stanhope that it would seem to me to be incredibly irresponsible to try to set up a select committee, with all its extra expenses, when we have a committee already set up specifically for this task. That is its role. Mr Kaine of all people has been on public accounts committees and I think is on the current public accounts committee. When he was Leader of the Opposition he chaired the then public accounts committee, as I recall. I am sure that he would agree with me that this is entirely the role of the public accounts committee. I understand that Mr Rugendyke is preparing an amendment to refer this issue to the public accounts committee.

Mr Quinlan: How does he know that, Dave?

MR MOORE: I hear an interjection - perhaps I should call it an aside because I know that Mr Quinlan does not tend to interject - from Mr Quinlan to Mr Rugendyke, saying, "How does he know that, Dave?". The reason I know it is that I go round and talk to other members of the Assembly. It may surprise you, Mr Quinlan, but when I get out of this seat and talk to people it is not necessarily just to persuade them and to try to put some weight on them.

Mr Kaine: You told him to do it, did you?

MR MOORE: I did nothing of the sort. The method I use instead of that is to try to ensure that I understand the views of people. I understand that Mr Quinlan is seeking to move an amendment to the motion, Mr Speaker, and I give him the opportunity to do so.

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