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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4364 ..

Mrs Dunne (continuing):

number of amendments moved, especially on private members day, in the last little while that have significantly changed the extent and the intent of motions. Rather than debate it here, I would actually like to raise with you formally that the way that amendments are handled in this place, and the way amendments are introduced, should be considered as a matter perhaps for the Administration and Procedure Committee. There are some issues there that need to be addressed.

MR SPEAKER: Well, I can only deal with them as they are put to me, Mrs Dunne, and I think this is consistent with earlier rulings in relation to these matters. But other amendments which are moved are accepted by the chair principally because, while they may well be alternative propositions, they do not seek to widen the scope in such an expansive way as this particular proposal does. But I take your point, and if you wish to raise it before the next meeting of the Administration and Procedure Committee, it would be a welcome debate.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (5.57): I have to say, I do accept that this is just the sort of daft notion that will get up in this particular Assembly. And I want to make a couple of observations.

First of all, there was the way it was presented-that this could be a temporary system, it is just a kind of a start, maybe we will just have a look around to see what might be done. Those are really good terms of reference to give an administration!

While I mention the term "administration", there is, by my view, a very important operational principle here, and it has to do with this place, and the relationship of the administration to the executive. The administration is responsible to the executive by virtue of the administrative orders. This type of motion, which has been brought to this place I think once before in this Assembly, asks the administration to serve two masters. It puts the administration in a virtually impossible position.

The administration is required to, and should, provide the executive with frank and fearless advice. However, it cannot at the same time depart from its role as advisers to and servers of the executive to turn around and give frank and fearless advice, which is I assume is what you expect, to the Assembly.

As I said, it is just the sort of daft thing you would still ask for, but, anyway, I need to make the point that you are in fact corrupting the process. We have a committee structure in this place which is designed for this Assembly to do its work. I was involved in that, and I can happily claim to have done during the last Assembly more than the average member of this place did in its committee work.

I note in this Assembly that we are not so strong on committee work. You have resiled from consultation on the budget, and now we see, at repeated opportunities: "I want my name in the paper. I want to care about affordable housing. I'm not doing any work. What will I do? I will put out a press release and I will demand that the government does some work for me. I've got no earthly idea of what I want". You presented a dog's breakfast in terms of what it might be-where it might start, where it might go. The administration has to decide that. This is appalling. This is dumbing down this Assembly.

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