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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3905 ..

Standing committees-alteration to resolution of appointment

Debate resumed from 14 November 2002, on motion by Mrs Cross:

That the resolution of the Assembly of 11 December 2001 establishing standing committees be amended by omitting paragraph (4) and substituting the following:

(4) Each committee shall consist of three members, except for the Standing Committee on Community Services and Social Equity and the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment, which shall have four members.

and on the amendment moved by Mr Hargreaves:

(1) Insert the words "Notwithstanding the provisions of Standing Order 221" before the words "That" first occurring.

(2) Add "and that the membership of both Committees comprise one member nominated by the Government, one member nominated by the Opposition, one member of the Australian Democrats and one independent member".

MR HARGREAVES: I seek leave to speak again and to amend my amendments to Mrs Cross' motion by omitting paragraph (2) and substituting another amendment.

Leave granted.


Omit paragraph (2), substitute the following:

(2) Clause (4): Omit the words "shall have four members", substitute "may have four members".

I will be brief. The amendment removes the word "shall", second occurring, and substitutes the word "may", allowing for more flexibility if members of the crossbench wish to revisit this issue. We have not been prescriptive about making the membership four; it could be three. If we had made it four as an absolute, it would have been more difficult and the amendment is intended to facilitate anything along those lines. As to omitting the second paragraph of my original amendments, I had merely tried to protect the position of one crossbench member. I think that that was ill advised and I have withdrawn that amendment. I commend the amendment to the chamber. It is only a machinery amendment, incidentally, Mr Speaker.

MS DUNDAS (12.19): I support the amendments, as amended, of Mr Hargreaves as they allow for greater flexibility than his original amendment. I was concerned when his original amendment appeared last Thursday. I had not seen it and I had a hard time figuring out where it was coming from. I guess that the ability to have flexibility is the compromise position that this Assembly is going to reach today. As such, it is important that we not confine the membership of the committees unjustly, as I think the second of the original amendments did. I am also supportive of the proposition that the committees "may" be increased in size, not "shall" be increased in size. The distinction is small but important. Hence, I support Mr Hargreaves' amendments.

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