Page 5524 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2011

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The point I made in my introductory speech—and it would appear, once again, that no-one ever listens to them in this place—was to point out that this bill facilitates new clubs in greenfield areas. Again it would appear that the concept of actually listening, even to the introductory remarks on a piece of legislation, is beyond some in this place. Such is life, and we will see how the Assembly chooses to deal with this matter.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Leader, ACT Greens) (11.55): The Greens have no problem with this going to the PAC committee for some investigation. The bill proposes some significant changes, many of which the Greens are very supportive. I know from having discussions with ClubsACT that transferability of machines between clubs has been an issue for some time, and this legislation goes to addressing that particular issue.

I think, though, we need to be careful about coming in here to do all of these referrals without having had some consideration of the workload of particular committees or having some discussion with those committees. I do not believe a discussion was held with PAC. From what I know, PAC have a very busy timetable. Mr Smyth, of course, would know that, as a member of PAC. The Greens support the idea of there being a committee process around legislation, but we do need to be mindful of the size of this Assembly and the available resources. They are quite limited; therefore, we need to be careful and considerate of those resources and the time that needs to go into these various inquiries.

Yes, we will support this. As a matter of principle, we support pieces of legislation being examined by committees, but we need to be aware, as I said, of the resource implications. Of course that should not stop us having proper investigation, but it is a little note around having that discussion beforehand with the chairs of the committees so that discussion at least can be had. The Greens will support the referral to PAC on this matter.

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (11.57): I can count and realise that the referral is going to go ahead to the PAC. I need to put my views on the record, however. All standing committees have the power of self-referral. It really was not necessary for a motion to be brought to this chamber to have it referred to PAC. What we are seeing, however, is a discourtesy to other members of PAC. I am now the deputy chair of PAC, because Mr Smyth resigned from that position because he could not get his political will through it.

I feel this is an appalling position. This practice of a member of a standing committee bringing forward a motion to refer a matter to that same standing committee is oppressive and I am not particularly in favour of it. A process or discussion about whether a standing committee will pick up an issue and have an inquiry into it or not is usually done behind closed doors within that committee. If it is concluded that they do not do so, there are reasons put on the minutes for that. If they do so then the Assembly is advised via a 246(a) statement that that is going to be picked up.

Very little time would have elapsed for Mr Smyth to have brought that matter before the PAC and given Ms Le Couteur, the chair of that committee, and me as the deputy

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