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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 262 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

There are obviously very big differences of opinion in the legal fraternity. A couple of prominent figures here have a particular view which this government has supported, but I do not think it is at all that definite. As I said, I have spoken to many other people with expertise in the field who have a different view. So that is obviously a subject of debate.

I agree with what has been said so far, and I think the Liberals are saying this too: that we want to make sure that this never, ever happens again; that it was an extremely sad day for this city; and that it is important that justice is seen to be done. If indeed a further inquiry will achieve those outcomes, then we would support it. So I look forward to further debate on the subject.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: That completes the discussion on the matter of public importance.

Standing committees

Proposed reference-2001-2002 draft budget

Debate resumed.

MS TUCKER: I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MS TUCKER: I want to respond to the argument Mr Humphries put before lunch. To be honest, I am not sure that he knows what my amendment does. I could not make sense of his argument at all. He seemed to be implying that we were forcing government to undertake its budget consultation in an inappropriate way and that the role of the executive was separate from the role of the parliament. But Mr Humphries has put a motion in this place calling on the committees to take on particular work. The committees do not belong to the executive; the committees belong to this parliament. This parliament is debating whether or not the committees will take on this work. All my amendment does is put a view on that topic of discussion, and it is totally appropriate. I do not think Mr Humphries is on the right track.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.06): Mr Humphries, unfortunately, has been called away. The government will not support Ms Tucker's amendment.

MR QUINLAN (4.07): I will say a few words on the amendment. I agree with what Ms Tucker has said. It is from this place that committees get their instructions, and it is important that we remember that. I guess this motion shows an attitude from the government. If I could paraphrase what I have heard from Mr Humphries in justification of the draft budget, he said, "We are the government, and we would like to stay the government, but we would like to spread the responsibility of government. We would like the credit of the position of government, but we would very much like to share the blame and the downsides." We should remember that this is an election year. I support your amendment, Ms Tucker.

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