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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3801 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

I contrast our position with that of self-government in the Northern Territory, which from my impression is a very popular institution, is one that people seem to wear on their sleeve or on their lapel.

Mr Quinlan: It has matured greatly in recent times.

MR HUMPHRIES: It might have matured greatly. We have not yet matured to that point. Perhaps we need to. I think we have a need for further evolution in our system of government. In the coming election we will be telling people how we think that evolution might occur.

I close by thanking Mr Moore for raising this debate. Mr Moore has made a continuous contribution during this Assembly in generating discussion that has sometimes resulted in change. Many of the things we have done here resulted from his initiative-for example, the Statutory Appointments Act and abolition of the prayer.

We need to have these debates. The lesson I get out of the comments that have been made today is that we have to accept the need to continue to review ourselves, to accept the need for change. No organisation is so good that it is going to have wild applause and wild support in the community, particularly not one like ours, unless we think continuously about how we are hitting the ground out in the community. I would hope that this debate can help us to do that a little bit better.

MR CORBELL (4.58): There are two elements that I would like to add to this debate. One goes to the capacity of the Assembly to do the work it has to do, and the other has to do with how good government is viewed by citizens of a city.

I deal first with the capacity of the Assembly to do its job. It has always struck me that in such a small chamber and such a small legislature, with a system such as the Hare-Clark electoral system, you will inevitably attract and see elected to this place those individuals who can vigorously stand out from the crowd.

It is a function of the Hare-Clark system that unless you are able to carve out your constituency and seek their endorsement and re-endorsement you are not elected to this place. That is a good thing in many respects, because it means you have representatives who are capable of articulating their point of view and communicating their message. But it also creates a weakness.

At 5.00 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

MR CORBELL: The weakness in the Hare-Clark system is that you often will not get elected to the Assembly those individuals who, with their experience, background or capacity, can make a contribution but who are unable to be as vigorous and as egotistical as you need to be to be elected through the Hare-Clark system. That is a weakness in this place. We do not always attract those who have had considerable experience in different professions and fields but who by their nature are not as vigorous as you need to be to be elected to the Assembly.

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