Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 223 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

That is bizarre in the extreme and a precedent. I reckon there might even be a masters thesis in it for somebody one day about how the government got away with it. As I said, I do consider this process to be something of a sham. I do believe that it a PR exercise in the extreme and fairly transparent at that but, if instructed, we will abide by the decisions of the Assembly and I will do so as chairman of the public accounts committee.

MRS BURKE (11.36): This innovative process, far from being a sham and a scattergun approach, is a triumph not only for this government but also for the wider community as a whole. This process will also allow me, as a non-executive member, to have input. Remember, too, that the word "triumph" is made up of two parts, "tri" and "umph", something, sadly, that this opposition has not grasped hold of. I sense the opposition is smarting at such innovation.

MR WOOD (11.37): Once again, Mr Humphries is trying to have the best of both worlds. First of all, he wants to be his best and go out into the community and say, "We are a government which consults. We want to talk to you. We want to talk to the Assembly. We want to talk to people to hear what they have to say." The other world he wants the best of is being able to criticise the opposition and say that we do not want to consult, that we do not want to do that, and how mean and nasty we are.

Mr Moore: And secretive.

MR WOOD: Whatever you like. Whatever words you want to use, you use them. And he has carefully designed a process to enable him to get the best of both worlds, because he has delivered, again, a very limited process. Last year, I have to say as chair of the health committee, we worked very hard to try to accommodate that process.

Mr Moore: I acknowledge that.

MR WOOD: Mr Moore acknowledges that now, as he did then. Did you hear that, Mr Humphries? We will do the same again this year, I expect. Last year there was limited time, but we did write to every community body we could think of. We took a great number of submissions, we had hearings, we listened to people and we responded. The timeframe is reduced this year, I think deliberately so on Mr Humphries' part, although now extended a little.

The committee will sit down, as soon as it is able, to work out what it may do. But it is designed to make life difficult for those participating in meaningful consultation, or giving deep consideration to it. Last year the health committee-I think other committees did the same-indicated that, with the resources we had, it was very difficult to do the work. You know what resources we have. All your committees are the same. We made a recommendation that, if this was to be a continuing process, then committees ought to get more resources and, as I look again at the recommendations, we sought to get a better intent from the government to help in this consultative process.

We sought more advice from government and all sorts of things. There were a large number of recommendations made just on the process. So we were interested and concerned about it. But, in fact, instead of the process becoming more effective this year,

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .