Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 2750 ..
MR HARGREAVES (11.43): Mr Speaker, people know how I voted on the recommendations in the report on draft variation 200, but I owe the Assembly and the community an explanation as to why I am not going to support the disallowance motion.
Mrs Dunne: We know you were rolled in the party room, John; it's all right.
MR HARGREAVES: Mrs Dunne's insulting comments only make me feel a little bit more like denigrating her in public, but I will resist the temptation, Mr Speaker, because she does so well herself. She needs no help from me in portraying herself as a blind, bitter and twisted woman because she did not get her own way.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, I think that that is unparliamentary. Withdraw it, please.
MR HARGREAVES: I am happy to withdraw that I said that she was bitter and twisted, Mr Speaker, and I do so with absolute and complete contrition.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hargreaves; I appreciate that.
MR HARGREAVES: Mr Speaker, committees are convened by the Assembly to come up with recommendations to the Assembly, not to the government, and it is for the government in its response, as is its wont, to pick up or reject the recommendations, knowing that it will be tested at the next election for doing or failing to do something. If, after the consideration of a committee report, a member wishes to pick up an issue and move a motion for its disallowances, so be it; that is their right. But to use that process as a gigantic dummy spit because you do not get your own way, because you are not able to run the actual argument, is pushing things a little bit too far.
Mr Speaker, I reiterate that the role of a committee is all about recommending to the Assembly and, through it, the government of the day the adoption of a certain course of action and the role of the government of the day is to respond to that report by saying that it accepts or rejects particular recommendations and acting accordingly, knowing that it will be judged on its performance at the next election.
Mr Corbell talked about movement. He also talked about whether the community consultation process was as has been described by Mrs Dunne. Let me talk briefly about the community consultation process. I distinctly remember people, in giving evidence, congratulating PALM and the government on the extent to which they went about community consultation with both versions. I remember people who were not particularly pleased with the product being complimentary to the officers of PALM for the way in which they went through the community consultation process. People who disagreed with the proposal still reckoned the process was a good one, says he to the departing back of Mrs Dunne.
I want to add my feelings yet again in public towards the officers of PALM and the government for the way in which they went about it. I have to make the observation that there were not queues lined up outside the committee room of thousands upon