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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 10 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2926 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

The third thing is something I have alluded to already, and that is that, for the first time as far as I am aware, a committee will be able to incur an expense without approval of the Speaker, even though they will be minor expenses. If we want to go to Sydney to talk to anybody, we have to get the Speaker's approval for the travel. If we want to engage a consultant, we have to get the Speaker's approval. Now I don't think it is going to be a humungous great cost impost. I accept that. But it is a change in the principle.

Now I am suggesting that the Administration and Procedure Committee look at that and see where the buried barriers are, to try to achieve the sort of thing Ms Tucker is putting forward here. If this chamber had 27 members in it, there may still be a case-some member wants to participate but cannot. And this sort of procedure may very well facilitate that. That will be at a time long after I have gone out of this place-and probably in a box. But it may occur. And what we are seeing here is establishing a procedure that will live long after we go.

So I really think that the Administration and Procedure Committee ought to be charged with looking at it, and we can separate the politics from the process. We can also discuss, for example, what sorts of activities members can be engaged in that take them away from their duties should actually be allowed-not allowed, but would be such that it would be okay for this sort of thing to happen. For example, if I decide to go to the Gold Coast for a holiday, and I still want to participate in deliberative sessions of this chamber, I don't think that should be on. I have a choice-I have a choice about whether I go or whether I don't.

I know when I went to London on the CPA trip not long ago it was bad luck. I can recall when my chairman from the Legal Affairs Committee said that he was going overseas on a holiday. If we required deliberative meetings, we were to make a phone call to him to fill him in, and we would go ahead with the deliberative meetings, because there were two of us; you've got a quorum. That is why we have a minimum of three people-because you have a quorum of two. To suggest that that quorum of two would act inappropriately and against the wishes of the third member is just as much a slur on the integrity of committee members as suggesting that the whole committee is not going to work in good faith.

Ms Tucker: I did not say that, John.

MR HARGREAVES: Well I'll quote you, Ms Tucker. You said that there is a suggestion that these committees would not act in good faith. That's what you said.

Ms Tucker: You are not listening and that's misrepresentation.

MR HARGREAVES: I was listening all right. I was listening okay.

MR SPEAKER: Order, members! We don't need the contest and the face-to-face.


: Yes, okay, Mr Speaker. I have concerns about this proposal. I do not think those concerns are such that they can't be overcome. I think there is possibly some accommodation which can be reached. But the concerns that I have are not addressed by this motion-and I cannot see a way to necessarily amend it to

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