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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 10 April 2008) . . Page.. 1322 ..

has clearly understood the difference, but it is not my intention to serve as a member of that committee.

I have explained before my observation about committees in this place and what has happened with these reports which seem to basically end up in the bin. I do not think the system is working under majority government but I do not have a solution in terms of going forward on what should change. I think it is still desirable to have a non-government member chair this committee and the public accounts committee, particularly, of the Assembly. But that is not to be the case and that is the direction that this government chooses to go.

I certainly will be expecting to have the opportunity to raise questions, as I have in the past several years, and I am assuming from the nod of agreement there that Dr Foskey has exactly the same plan. But I do not intend to devote my hours to writing a long dissertation that will be dismissed and disregarded because the government will use their majority.

I also hope that we do have a long debate. I screamed loudly about the guillotining of the debate last year but I must acknowledge that some research that the Clerk did indicated that it was, I believe, the longest or the second-longest budget debate in the history of self-government. It was complicated, as someone in the government ranks incisively noted, because we had a shadow shadow Treasurer who felt he had to speak on every issue until the party room toned him down.

Everything went on for much longer than it might normally, where you would have the shadow Treasurer responding, crossbench people periodically and the relevant shadow minister also responding. But that was not good enough, of course, and that is why things blew out. Anyway, I am speaking in support of the amendment because I think the principle enshrined there is an appropriate one.

Motion (by Mr Corbell) put:

That the question be now put.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 7

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Burke

Mr Smyth

Mr Berry

Ms MacDonald

Mrs Dunne

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Corbell

Mr Mulcahy

Dr Foskey

Ms Gallagher

Ms Porter

Mr Pratt

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Mr Seselja

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Amendment (Mrs Burke’s) negatived.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (4.21): I seek leave to withdraw my amendments and replace them with the amendments I have circulated.

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