Page 50 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012
incorporating also a scrutiny of bills committee, and a Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services.
The development of standing committees of this place has been a more unusual task than it has been for a number of Assemblies now, given the absence of a crossbench representative or party to sit on any committees of this place. For the first time in a long period of time there will be no crossbench representation on the standing committees of this place. For that reason, the government has given close consideration to how these committees should be structured.
We propose that the standing committees on education, health, planning and justice will be composed of three members. In relation to the standing committees on education, health and planning, two of those members shall be nominated by the government and one shall be nominated by the opposition. In relation to the standing committees on education, health and planning, it is proposed that a government member chair those committees.
In relation to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety, members will note that it is proposed to establish a committee, again, of three members with two members nominated by the opposition and one by the government. In the normal course of events, the government would expect that it would be an opposition member who would be chairing that committee.
Finally, in relation to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, the government proposes that two members be nominated by the opposition and two by the government, and that the chair shall be an opposition member. This is in recognition of the very important role that the public accounts committee plays in this place. When you look at the terms of reference of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, you see that its ambit is broad, looking, of course, at the accounts and expenditures of the territory but also every Auditor-General’s report presented to this place. For that reason we believe a slightly larger committee is justified, recognising the significant workload this committee in particular will perform during this Assembly.
Finally, I turn to the membership of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure. Of course, the normal membership is proposed for this committee—that is, Madam Speaker as chair, the government whip, the opposition whip and a representative of the crossbench, in this case Mr Rattenbury.
This committee structure proposes a robust and effective committee structure. It is going to be a lot of work for all members on these committees, and we believe this is the most effective one in ensuring that all members are effectively engaged in the work of the committee system. I commend the motion to the Assembly.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (11.38): The opposition will be supporting the government’s proposal for the standing committees for this place. However, in doing so we would like to place on record that we do not think the chairs of the various standing committees appropriately reflect the make-up of the Assembly and nor do they necessarily represent best practice in terms of holding the government to account.