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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2666 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

In conclusion, I seek members' support for the Bill. The changes are largely housekeeping changes, reflecting the fact that we always need to work to keep legislation up to date, and that will continue to occur.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle

Detail Stage

Clauses 1 to 7, by leave, taken together.

Amendment (by Ms Carnell ) agreed to:

Clause 2 -

Page 1, line 9, subclause (2), omit "1 July 1999", substitute "1 January 2000".

Clauses, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 8

MR BERRY (6.14): I repeat what I said earlier about who is answerable to this Assembly. It strikes me and the Labor Party that it is better if it is the Chief Minister rather than the Public Service commissioner. I note that the Chief Minister did not disagree with my assessment of the possible involvement of the Chief Minister in these matters. It is a rare occurrence rather than a regular one, and it would not be that onerous a task. I have made my point in relation to who should be answerable to this Assembly. Where possible it should be the political master rather than the public servant when it comes to disallowable instruments.

To be a little hypothetical for a moment, in the event that this Assembly found a Public Service management matter abhorrent for one reason or another, or just disagreed with it, I would far rather be moving a motion of disallowance in relation to the Chief Minister's actions than I would in moving one in relation to the Public Service commissioner's actions, for a couple of reasons. The first is that the management of the Public Service is a significant matter for this Assembly and therefore ought to be dealt with by people within this place.

Secondly, it would save the Chief Minister from having to hurl her usual stuff at us about attacking public servants. I would rather take the public servants out of the firing line wherever possible. As it stands, this Bill would tend to put the public servant in the firing line. I admit that it would only be on a rare occasion, but then again for the same reason it is a rare occasion that the Chief Minister gets involved. They are the reasons I will be opposing the change to the actioning of management standards.

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