Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 11 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3912 ..

Question so resolved in the negative.

Amendment negatived.

MS TUCKER (12.24), in reply: To conclude, I thank members for their participation in the debate. I will respond briefly to some of the comments of Mr Stefaniak in his summary of the history of our parliamentary system since Federation. I think that it is important to take into account in talking about these sorts of things that the original framers of our Constitution had within their concept the notion of responsible government.

The notion of responsible government at that time related to the capacity of the parliament to keep the executive in check. That, obviously, does not happen any more because of the very strict party discipline. The notion of responsible government has changed to the notion of accountable government. Accountability is something that is resisted by governments. It is really easy to see that if you look at the accountability measures.

Mr Wood: Rubbish! Not so.

MS TUCKER: Don't take it personally.

Mr Wood: A bland statement like that-come on!

MS TUCKER: I am hearing from people who have been offended. I am actually talking generally about the Australian parliament and I am citing a paper by Harry Evans, the Clerk of the Senate, about the history of Australian parliaments. If you look at the history and you look at the response of governments in the lower house of the federal parliament to accountability measures that were proposed, you will find that they have resisted them. Much as you might not like it, that is the reality and history shows it. I am happy to give you a copy of a paper from Harry Evans which shows that that is the case.

The argument that he is putting in that is that, where you have a government in majority, accountability mechanisms are resisted. That is why the upper house, the Senate, has been so important in bringing about accountability mechanisms and measures in governance at the federal level. It is extremely important that people remember that and look at that history and the movement from the concept of responsible government to that of accountable government and the way that accountability measures have been introduced into the federal sphere. The evidence is there and I think that it needs to be looked at. It would be better if, instead of making grumpy comments, members actually respected the work of Harry Evans in the research that he has done on that.

Motion agreed to.

Sitting suspended from 12.27 to 2.30 pm.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .