Page 5525 - Week 13 - Thursday, 17 November 2011

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chair, the courtesy of considering it. In all probability, it would have been picked up by PAC and instantly an inquiry could have started within the time frames Mr Smyth has asked for. I do not recall us having a disagreement on whether an inquiry would go ahead to such a degree where a member was upset. Usually, the practice is that if a member of a standing committee is so keen on an inquiry going on, regardless of whether the other committee members are ambivalent or not, that inquiry goes on.

Mr Hanson: A bit sensitive about pokies, are you, Johnno?

MR HARGREAVES: Madam Deputy Speaker, I am heartily sick of the discourtesy from Mr Hanson coming across the chamber. I wish he would either do what we do—hear someone in silence—or go away. That would achieve exactly the same thing, because it has exactly the same effect on me, and he is becoming rather boring with his tedious repetition of that stuff.

The only thing left for me to do is to underscore how strongly I feel about this. This is an unnecessary motion. In my view it is just an exercise in grandstanding which was totally unnecessary. We will just see how it transpires. I have to say that the vigour with which people throw themselves into inquiries is often created by the environment in which the inquiry emerges. I am happy to accept a referral from the Assembly to do an inquiry, but nobody can force me to do something with vigour. I have to say to you, Madam Deputy Speaker, that Mr Smyth will have to put an enormous amount of energy into this inquiry off his own back, and we will see how it goes.

Mr Coe: You’re going to be half-hearted, are you?

MR HARGREAVES: I am a bit fed up with hearing young people squawk across the chamber.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.00), in reply: I apologise to Mr Hargreaves for not having had the opportunity to speak with him. It was my intention to do so, and if he had been here when I moved the motion, he would know that I did say I had not had time to consult with my colleagues. First and foremost, I shut the bill down as the shadow responsible for it, and I move to the committee in the role of shadow. That is part of that problem we have with a small Assembly and membership of various committees.

I only had the briefing at lunchtime yesterday. I then had some discussions with relevant people. I spoke to Mr Rattenbury, as I thought he would have had carriage of the bill, and asked him to consider it. There is no point going to committees and doing things if you do not think it is going to get up. I thought I was saving people time. Ms Hunter apparently will have carriage of this; there was a decision in the party room.

I think I apologised when I made my introduction that I had not had the time to do that, because it has come on quickly. I only had the briefing yesterday, I had not seen the bill, and we were told that it was to come on in December. That was the reason, so that people were quite clear about what was to happen with this bill.

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