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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3749 ..

MR SPEAKER: Mr Osborne, do you have another matter?

MR OSBORNE: I think Mr Hargreaves wants to speak first.

MR SPEAKER: Is leave granted for Mr Hargreaves to speak?

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I know how interested the minister for police will be in what Mr Osborne has incorporated. I will wait till he gets back into the chamber and has a go.

One of the reasons for not being able to finish this inquiry is that time overtook us. There were quite a number of reports-

Mr Moore: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. How is Mr Hargreaves speaking? Is it by leave?

MR SPEAKER: He has leave.

MR HARGREAVES: I am speaking as member of the committee. The committee was waiting for submissions from people who indicated to us that they wanted to make submissions. In my view, those submissions would have been pivotal to our conclusions. They did not arrive.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge our committee secretary, Fiona Clapin. Although we may still be here at 2 o'clock in the morning-I hope not-she is likely to go home at a reasonable hour for a well-earned rest. I want to place on the record my appreciation for the role Fiona has played in what we have done on the Justice and Community Safety Committee. We did a lot of thinking and a lot of work on the prison issues. We also did a lot on a number of other inquiries. It is a very difficult job being a committee secretary. I do not know how our secretaries do it. I take my hat off to them.

The beauty of our standing committee is that it has four different approaches. But someone has to have the talent to put together a sensible report which reflects all our views. In the 31/2 years we have been together as a committee, we have had one dissenting report. That is testimony to the tightrope walking that Fiona Clapin has done. I express my appreciation to the committee secretariat in toto for the assistance they have given us.

When I came into this place, I did not know anything about how the committee system functioned. I had had a fair amount of experience in the public service, but it was a completely new ball game in this place. I want to make sure that everybody is aware that the committee system would not function without high-quality secretarial staff.

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