Page 54 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012

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Liberal members. I think the challenge here is for people to make this work. It is fair. There are allocations recognising the role that the opposition plays. There is also an acknowledgement that there is a legitimate backbench with a legitimate role in this parliament. That is reflected in this motion. The government will support Mr Coe’s amendment. Really, the challenge now is over to you to make these arrangements work.

Mr Coe’s amendment agreed to.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.51): I move the following amendment:

In paragraph (4)(e)(ii), omit “two”, substitute “one”.

What the amendment does is restore the public accounts committee to what it should be: a committee of three. That has been the tradition of this place. It has been the tradition of this place to enable the committees to come to a decision instead of being eternally deadlocked. This committee will be eternally deadlocked. That is the shameful and disgraceful intent of this motion. It is shameful and disgraceful that the man who says in his agreement with the government that he wants to ensure an accountable and transparent government that is responsible to the community has abandoned his principles at the first turn. That is what you have done, Mr Rattenbury.

Mr Corbell talks about the admin and procedure committee. The admin and procedure committee has always been that way. It is a different committee. Mr Corbell in his introduction speech for this motion said that having four members on this committee acknowledges its importance; it is a scrutiny committee. Apparently the other committees do not scrutinise the government. So you have to question: what do they do? If the other committees are not scrutiny committees of the government and what it does, what do they do? Clearly, the government is at a loss as to what they do because if they were doing scrutiny we would have four members on all the committees. But it has walked away from this. There is only one purpose and only one intent of having four members on this committee, and that is to nobble the public accounts committee.

The Treasurer is obviously afraid of any scrutiny of his tax reform and any scrutiny of his business reforms. He is afraid that the committee will inquire and will get to the truth of what the government are doing. Otherwise they would not be doing this. This will be an eternally deadlocked committee. Let us have no illusion about it. Two members of the government will very rarely agree with two members of the opposition where it questions what the government are doing. That is the job of this committee. They admit it over there by saying, “It’s a committee to scrutinise the government.” Scrutiny of the government inevitably will cause the government some level of pain. What this means is that there will be no pain at all because the committee will be eternally deadlocked. There will be no consensus.

We had the Chief Minister on the day she was elected as Chief Minister say she is looking forward to working together with members of the Assembly. There was this outbreak of collaboration. But at the very first turn there was no discussion with us on this committee having four members. We received this late yesterday afternoon when suddenly it had changed to two members of the government on the committee. At the

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