Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 6 March 2008) . . Page.. 589 ..
Mr Corbell: We have actually got two Liberal amendments—not just one Liberal amendment: two Liberal amendments from two different factions within the Liberal Party.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MRS BURKE: Mr Speaker, it is obvious that Mr Corbell is very upset about this.
Mr Corbell: What a joke.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MRS BURKE: He is obviously very upset about this—and very touchy this morning. Mr Speaker, I will leave it there; I will leave my colleagues Mrs Dunne and Mr Smyth, who were there for a large portion of the workings through the committee, to speak for themselves.
DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.19): I was on the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure through the whole of the long haul on the standing orders. I want to remind people of something. I do not know if you have forgotten about it, but almost the minute that I came into this place something landed in my in-tray—a document that was about comments on the standing orders. At that time, not knowing very much about how this place worked, I sat down and, with my staff, worked through some of those comments and submitted those. I believe they were added into the standing orders as draft text—added to the draft.
I am aware that the staff of the Clerk’s office conducted a number of roundtables or workshops on the standing orders to which all members were invited. I did not attend those, but I believe that there was a very exhaustive process there. And I am aware that, for about the last year, page by page, clause by clause, the committee has been working through these standing orders.
Today we have three lots of amendments. Some of these are probably good amendments, and I am not denying that. For instance, as a member of the crossbench I think that Mr Mulcahy’s amendment is an improvement on Mrs Dunne’s amendment No 3. What if, after the election, the opposition has only three or four people and they are going to be heading up all these committees? There are certain things we do not want to set in cement now. I think that we will have to see what the new Assembly looks like, because the appropriateness of some of these amendments cannot be judged at this moment.
But my main concern is that the amendments have just arrived now. I know what a process it has been. I know how difficult it has been for the Clerk’s office and his staff to get members to even give their attention to this process. And here we go: it lands on our desk and suddenly everyone is giving it attention. I know this process. It is human nature. There is no blame attached to it. It is just what happens: deadlines occur and then “whoops”, five minutes behind the deadline.