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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (25 August) . . Page.. 2403 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

Another matter, for what it is worth, is that most of the groups I have spoken to who have an interest in this area would prefer to see Quamby remain with Education. They will get their chance to make that comment to that Assembly committee of inquiry. It is pleasing that Quamby appears to be doing very well indeed, very much better than formerly.

I am not convinced by the Chief Minister's argument that we would be moving away from the ACT self-government Act if we gave a direction to the Chief Minister that she had to put this agency where the Assembly wants it. For over 10 years, and I know Mr Moore will agree with me, this Assembly has been very adept at expanding its range of interest and its ability to direct government. It has been doing that over many years. Let me raise just one example of that - the ability to make appointments to various bodies. It was Mr Moore, I believe, who introduced that into the Assembly. Under standard government arrangements, that is strictly a job for the government to do. We extended the boundaries. That is not exactly comparable with this one, I know, but we extended the boundaries. A further extension of that principle, I would suggest, would see the Government having no difficulty in accepting a direction on this matter.

This Assembly, as I have heard Mr Moore say many times, has been an innovative Assembly. It has looked at new and different ways of doing things. Goodness me, I think I can hear my head ringing from the Chief Minister saying that herself on many occasions. She says, "Let us do things differently". But not today. She does not want to do things differently today; she wants to do them the way she wants. I do not think it makes a vast degree of difference either way for the moment, but I think it is better, on balance, for Quamby to stay with Education, mainly because of the very good record in recent times with Education.

Yes, the administrative arrangements have been made, but I would not expect that the physical relocation always following changes has yet been made, and I think it would be rather easy for a very quick reversal of that administrative arrangement to be made to enable Quamby to stay with Education for the period of this inquiry. If that inquiry comes up in the end with the proposal that that is where it is best suited, there is minimal disruption to organisational procedures.

The Chief Minister wanted it both ways on one matter relating to the coroner's report. She used as an argument the fact that the coroner recommended that there be one agency to look after all correctional facilities, all correctional arrangements. She also noted the coroner's argument that there might need to be an inquiry around that. The Chief Minister took the one initially but not the other. She used one to incorporate Quamby into Justice but did not at that time take on the argument about the inquiry to think about it. That was accepted only yesterday in the Assembly.

Mr Humphries: No, we moved it ourselves yesterday. It was our intention to move it yesterday.

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