Page 1400 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 6 May 2008

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Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: Scrutiny report 54 contains the committee’s comments on seven bills, 22 pieces of subordinate legislation, five government responses and one regulatory impact statement. The report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting. I commend the report to the Assembly.

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee

Report 33

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (10.33): I present the following report:

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee—Report 33—Report on Annual and Financial Reports 2006-2007, dated 9 April 2008, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

I will give a brief overview of this inquiry for the Assembly. The Standing Committee on Planning and Environment considered the annual reports for the 2006-07 financial year of the ACT Land Development Agency, the ACT Planning and Land Authority, the Canberra Public Cemeteries Trust, the Commissioner for the Environment and the Department of Territory and Municipal Services. The report focuses on those issues raised and assessed during the committee’s three public hearings and makes six recommendations pertaining to the adequate provision of resources for key government programs, public accessibility to agency reviews, water use, and the provision of up-to-date information on government programs and initiatives. There is also a recommendation pertaining to the Australian Railway Historical Society. There were no major issues with the annual reports in themselves.

In closing, the committee would like to thank the committee secretary, Nicola Derigo, and the officials and stakeholders who assisted the committee during the course of that inquiry. I commend the report to the Assembly.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.34): As the newest member of the planning and environment committee, I would like to make some comments on this report on the annual and financial reports of the agencies that fall within the purview of the committee. I take the opportunity to point out that we are starting to see a failure of the committee process in this Assembly. I think it is a function of the arrogance of majority government that people think they can get away with these things.

It has long been my view, and it is a view that I think increasingly is shared by other members of the Assembly who are not in government, or perhaps who are not in the executive, that the role of committees is an extraordinarily important one that should not be within the gift of the executive, as has been the case here. With respect to the planning and environment committee, we have two government members and, in its current form, one other member. What we actually have is a sort of nodding glee club for the executive.

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