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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3197 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

comparative financial data. Mr Humphries spent about 20 minutes telling us why he could not do it. Either he was delaying things or he is incompetent, but it is one or the other.

Ms Carnell: Mr Speaker, I take a point of order. It is still not relevant.


MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, what we are saying here is that if it is good enough for the Government to say, "I have not had the time to do it", and Mr Humphries can get off scot-free, surely it is good enough for this side of the chamber as well.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, on that point of order: The argument we have put forward is that Mr Stanhope is receiving extra public money for an inquiry which he has not been conducting. I have received no extra money for the work I have done in respect of the prison, so there is no relevance in what Mr Hargreaves has had to say.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order, but I do ask for relevance, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, I would suggest to you that that is one of at least two arguments which were put forward by the other side of the chamber. I do not disagree with your ruling on that issue, Mr Speaker, but I would point out that that is one of the issues which have been brought forward by that side of the house. The other issue is the fact that nothing has been done, that the information is not available, and that it is not acceptable for giving an extension of time. I am trying to demonstrate that the same argument applies in the context of the Justice and Community Safety Committee. Therefore, for Mr Humphries to stand up and say to this chamber that Mr Stanhope cannot have the extra time that he needs to deliver a meaningful report to this chamber is nothing short of hypocritical. That is the point that I was wishing to make.

The other point that I would wish to make, Mr Speaker, is that the committees, as you would well know because you are serving on this one yourself, depend heavily on the workload of the committee secretariat. We have an enormous number of inquiries going on I know that the one with which I have been involved recently has done an enormous amount of work. There has to be a connection between the extent of work within the committee secretariat and the length of time it takes for a report to be delivered. That is one of the reasons why, until this moment, I have not been jumping up and down in this chamber saying to Mr Humphries, "Get on with it". I understand the extent of the work that our own committee secretariat has gained. We have added another inquiry to its work and it is a particularly sensitive one. It has enormous ramifications and we have to get it right, otherwise we will be back doing it again. That would be nothing short of silly.

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