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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2048 ..


Mr Humphries presented the following papers:

Territory Owned Corporations Act, pursuant to subsection 19 (3)-Statement of Corporate Intent for ACTEW Corporation Ltd for 2000/01 to 2004/05.

2000-01 Capital Works Program-Progress report-March quarter.

Estimates 2001-2002-Select Committee

Report on budget 2001-2002-government response

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (3.40): For the information of members, I present the following paper:

Estimates 2001-2002-Select Committee-Report-Report entitled Budget 2001-2002, dated June 2001, including a dissenting report (presented 13 June 2001)-Government response.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Mr Speaker, the Select Committee on Estimates 2001-2002 made 65 recommendations in its report, and judging by that number alone one could be misled into believing that the committee did a great deal of work. I have to say that this report sets a new low for the work and output of the committee.

I have to qualify my reference to the committee as a whole, for there were some voices of reason in the committee whose views and thoughts were disregarded in the preparation of the report. We had the unfortunate situation where, at the last moment, those members were forced to prepare a separate dissenting report. Technically speaking, I would suggest the report tabled by the committee chair was incomplete. As I said, this sets a new low.

Mr Speaker, we then had the most appalling situation where those opposite, with the complicity of some Independents, blocked the tabling of the dissenting report. So the report does not reflect a unanimous view and, on the top of that, there has been an attempt to suppress the dissenting view. This also sets, I would submit, a new low.

Mr Speaker, a more fundamental issue to think about is that the committee chair was unable, or unwilling, to forge consensus or allow an avenue for dissent. We now know that he came to the committee with a predetermined view and the intention to impose that view on the committee. That being the case, how can this Assembly-and indeed the wider community-have any confidence in the committee's report being anything other than a sham, and perhaps deliberately so?

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