Page 52 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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crossbench changed which way they voted and did not always vote with the government. Here we will have government members always voting with the government to prevent any reasonable scrutiny in PAC. That is a very poor start for this new Labor-Greens coalition government. I would say to the Greens member of that coalition government that this requires a rethink and that turning around and nobbling PAC on the first day I think is the wrong way to go. It will not serve the interests of scrutiny.

For the government to have the controlling votes on three committees—which we disagree with—and then leave the opposition with the controlling vote only on one committee, there is no way that that stacks up. We have the makings of a government that is going to act very much like a majority government that will look to control everything it possibly can. That is reflected in this motion today. We certainly will not be supporting that aspect of it.

Mr Smyth will be moving an amendment to align it in the way that it should be aligned, which is what we were told and what was discussed when I had discussions with Mr Rattenbury and the Chief Minister. At no point was I told that one particular committee—namely, PAC—would be singled out for the government to avoid the opposition having the controlling vote on that committee. We certainly will not be supporting it, and Mr Smyth will be moving an amendment to that effect.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.44): I will be supporting the motion to establish the committees today. It is an unusual situation and it has taken some thinking to try and work out the best way to create the combination of committees in the permutation that we have in the Assembly.

Mr Smyth: Nobble it from the start.

MR RATTENBURY: It is going to be a long four years, Madam Deputy Speaker. The tone has been set this morning.

In thinking about this and trying to draw a balance between the two competing desires in the chamber, we have ended up with a situation where there are three chairs each for the two parties if you draw the admin and procedures committee into it, which is an important committee in this place. Certainly, I was of a mind to ensure that the key scrutiny committees had opposition chairs, and both the justice and community safety committee with the scrutiny of bills role and the public accounts committee are particularly important and should have opposition chairs.

Mr Doszpot: They’re all scrutiny committees—health, education.

MR RATTENBURY: Of course they are all scrutiny committees, Mr Doszpot, but there is a particular recognition, particularly with things like the Latimer House principles, of the importance of those types of committees in holding governments to account. All committees hold governments to account, and all members of committees have the capability to hold governments to account.

Opposition members interjecting—

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