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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3191 ..

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Hird is not on the committee. How are Mr Hird's commitments supposed to be of relevance to the fact that the Select Committee on Government Contracting and Procurement Processes has not even met in 51/2 months, except to elect the chairman? In a different part of his speech he said, "We only had our permanent secretary appointed a couple of weeks ago", implying, again without saying so, that the lack of a permanent secretary had somehow retarded their capacity to call for public submissions, to hold meetings or to do any of the other things that committees in this place actually do.

That, of course, is nonsense, Mr Deputy Speaker. A committee can meet, if it so chooses, with the assistance of an acting or pro tem secretary available to the committee from the secretariat. Has Mr Stanhope requested an acting secretary to be provided for them to hold a meeting, at least? No, of course not. Has he organised for the secretariat to arrange to place an advertisement in a newspaper calling for public submissions so that members of the committee could sit down and start to read public submissions on the subject? Until two weeks ago, no, he had not. For over five months - May, June, July, August, September, until early in October - this indecisive chairman of the committee did nothing except bury himself in books and start to do research, Mr Deputy Speaker. Yet Mr Stanhope has had the nerve to get up in this place on this matter. He was pulling in $10,000 or something of that order per annum for being a committee chair.

Ms Carnell: No, it is not that much.

MR HUMPHRIES: Maybe less than that, maybe $5,000. He was pulling in the extra money that goes with being a chair of a committee - - -

Mr Stanhope: You are going to get a shock when you get back into opposition, mate.

MR HUMPHRIES: If I could have some attention - - -

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Humphries, you have been provocative. I might comment that I am not comfortable with going too much further down the path of the income that members are earning in respect of the work that they do here. I am not too comfortable with that. Mr Humphries, will you carry on.

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker, on your comment. We are talking about the work that they do not do.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Deputy Speaker, in light of all these facts, we hear that Mr Stanhope believes that the committee has been working at pace. If that is working at pace, I do not know what the rest of the people in the Assembly are doing, but it is certainly a great deal more than working at pace.

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