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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 7 Hansard (26 June) . . Page.. 2633 ..



The Liberal opposition has accepted Ms Tucker's amendment that the legal advice just be lodged with the clerk and that members have access to it as they so choose. We give that concession with the rider that it is not a precedent. We do not expect that to happen often, if ever, but we will allow it this evening on the condition, in the first instance, that the Administration and Procedure Committee look at this issue, which the Liberal representative on that committee will be raising at the next meeting, and that we do understand what we are doing here tonight.

What we are doing here tonight is we are starting to codify how the house might scrutinise the executive and, once you start to do that, the house has given away all of its powers, because that is the start of the slippery slope. Once the house, through pressure from the executive, is forced to concede anything, we are diminished and we have conceded to the executive that they are beyond or above the scrutiny of the house. That is unacceptable; that is not the Westminster system.

I urge members to reject Mr Corbell's amendment. I would ask members not to attempt to amend it because, in attempting to amend it, we would be actually having the argument that the Administration and Procedure Committee rightly should have on our behalf and, if the Administration and Procedure Committee suggested that some sort of committee be set up to look at it, that committee might do.

I think the middle ground and the only acceptable ground, the only acceptable concession that the house should make to the executive, is that proposed by Ms Tucker on the clear understanding that it does not set a precedent. I think that we should be getting on with what may prove to be somewhat longer and even more important matters because they also set precedents.

Members, I would ask that you reject Mr Corbell's amendment. I think it is a diminution of our powers. Those powers were given to us by the people of the ACT and they are not for us to give away.

Question put:

That Mr Corbell 's amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted-

	Ayes 10  			Noes 7

Mr Berry  	Ms MacDonald  	Mrs Burke  	Mr Smyth
Mr Corbell  	Mr Quinlan  	Mr Cornwell  	Mr Stefaniak
Ms Dundas  	Mr Stanhope  	Mrs Cross
Ms Gallagher  	Ms Tucker   	Mrs Dunne
Mr Hargreaves   Mr Wood  	Mr Pratt 

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment agreed to.

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