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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4074 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

requests that the department takes on board if asked by Cabinet, again within reason. So the process is not much different.

In any case, Mr Speaker, I ask members opposite to consider what other way of proceeding along this path there is. Labor has said, "Give us many, many more resources. Give us half your department and we will be able to do the job". I think the fact of life is, Mr Speaker - - -

Mr Berry: Give back your salary if you are not going to do the job. Give your money back.

MR SPEAKER: Order, Mr Berry! Stop making funnies. We have a lot of work to do today.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I do not think we are going to be able to get the Labor Party to take this process on board. They are opposed to the idea of the Government having to share its budget-making process with anybody else because they do not want to have to do this when they are next in government. That is a fact of life.

Mr Corbell: This is about ministerial responsibility.

MR HUMPHRIES: You do not want to do this at all, irrespective of what resources are made available, and you do not intend to continue this experiment next time you happen to be on the government benches.

Let me say to others on the crossbenches, Mr Speaker, that this is a new exercise in public accountability. It is a level of exposure of government processes which is unprecedented, and it simply requires a certain minimal amount of discipline to make it happen. There is no other way of doing it. What other way is there, realistically, of doing this except the way that the Government has proposed?

It being 45 minutes after the commencement of Assembly business, the debate was interrupted in accordance with standing order 77.

MR BERRY (11.35): Mr Speaker, I reluctantly move:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent consideration of Assembly business having precedence of Executive business until the Assembly has concluded its consideration of Assembly business, order of the day No. 1.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

MR HUMPHRIES: I just want to finish my remarks, Mr Speaker. Do not forget that we are proposing that the overview committee, the Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, can make recommendations about things like increased revenue and even movement between agencies. I see no reason why that should not happen, but, again, each committee is going to have to be involved in that process in some way.

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