Page 11 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 15 February 2011

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Mr Volker was the head of three commonwealth departments under both Labor and Liberal governments and has been appointed to roles by both Labor and Liberal ACT governments. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Public Affairs and has been for 18 years. Indeed, his professional career makes him a very appropriate person to fulfil the role.

The act addresses the widely held and, I would add, in my view, very valid concern at the risk that the government will use public money for an inappropriate political end. It is absolutely necessary that the person appointed to the role cannot reasonably be said to have or be perceived to have a political bias that would interfere with their ability to apply the law as intended by the Assembly. This is of course the reason why it is appropriate to require that a special majority of the Assembly approve the appointment, to remove the concern of bias in the reviewer.

When I have stood in support of Mr Volker’s appointment on previous occasions, I have set out a series of objective tests as to why I believe that Mr Volker is appropriate to take up this position. I can see nothing in the long list of Mr Volker’s achievements that demonstrates he is incapable of making an independent, objective decision on the merits of the material before him, and no adverse evidence has been presented to me to show that he would not conduct this role with a very professional approach.

The Greens are satisfied that he will acquit the task well and have no reason to believe there is any reasonable basis for any accusation of bias or doubt about his ability to perform the role. I am confident that Mr Volker will perform the role objectively, fairly and in accordance with the provisions of the act.

MR SPEAKER: As the act requires a special majority for the passage of this motion, I will direct the Clerk to ring the bells and we will conduct a vote for the passage of this motion.

Question put:

That Mr Stanhope’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 13

Noes 0

Mr Barr

Ms Hunter

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Ms Burch

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Corbell

Mr Seselja

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Mr Stanhope

Mr Hanson

Question so resolved in the affirmative, by the special majority required.

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