Page 2528 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 17 June 2009

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MRS DUNNE: That may be the case, Mr Corbell, and you can stop interjecting. There was general agreement in the Liberal party room and from the Greens that we would go down the path roughly described in Mr Seselja’s amendment. It was originally proposed there would be a select committee and then we said we were quite happy to have it go through a standing committee. There was to be a standing committee review so that we could advise the commonwealth on the way that we in the ACT thought this should go forward. That was how things stood yesterday afternoon. The first indication that I had that that was not the case was when Ms Hunter stood here today and said that she would look forward to putting together the terms of reference for a joint inquiry. Then calls were made and suddenly it seemed that all bets were off and we were going to go down a different path.

We have had considerable discussions about that since then and I think we have now come to a situation where there will not be agreement in the Assembly about the way forward. I think that is because no-one took the time to talk this through and it was dealt with in the heat of a very busy sitting day. All of this should have been resolved by sitting around a table beforehand and coming up with an agreed way forward. We have to be very careful about what is on the table. Mr Seselja is absolutely right to be concerned about the proposal for a joint inquiry. We have investigated a joint inquiry between us and the commonwealth before and it has proved to be very difficult. When I raised this with Mr Corbell at lunchtime today he said, “Maybe it will not happen.” It seems as if this is something to do and we must do something, so therefore we must do this.

Yesterday, during negotiations with Mr Corbell’s staff and the Greens staff, Mr Corbell’s staff told us that they had money in JACS to do a review of the self-government act and that JACS wanted to do a review of the act. When it was put to them that if there was a committee inquiry those resources could be brought to the Assembly that was not discounted completely, but we were told that there was money in the JACS budget to do a review of the self-government act. Mr Seselja is quite correct to say that we are concerned that this review will be done behind closed doors by the Labor Party, both here and on the hill. It is something that the people of the ACT need to be concerned about. This is an important issue. I think that the handling of it by the Greens and the Labor Party has been, at best, unfortunate. We cannot support the original Green motion. I believe the proposal put forward by Mr Corbell does not go far enough in addressing the important issues.

Question put:

That Mr Seselja’s amendment to Mr Corbell’s proposed amendment be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 4

Noes 9

Mr Coe

Mr Barr

Ms Hunter

Mrs Dunne

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mr Hanson

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Smyth

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Gallagher

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