Page 55 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 27 November 2012
very first hurdle, her own commitment to working collaboratively with people goes out the door. It is collaboration as long as the government gets its way. It is collaboration as long as the government is not held to account. It is a collaborative approach as long as the government is not called to account.
Collaboration is not acquiescence to the government. Of all of the aspects of this place we have always had robust committee systems that called into account what the government was doing. We were never afraid of the committee system. We never tried to nobble committees in this way and I think it is shameful that today we do it in this way. Indeed, it is one of the most important committees because it looks continually at the finances of the territory. It is an important committee, as Mr Corbell pointed out, because it looks at the reports of the Auditor-General which in the main, you have to say, have not been particularly complimentary of this government over the years. If I was getting a constant beating from people like the Auditor-General because of my poor management then I would be looking for a way to nobble the PAC committee as well, and this is effectively what it does.
If you are honest, Mr Rattenbury, about hoping to achieve accountable and transparent government then you will vote for the amendment because at least then PAC will be able to make decisions. PAC will not make decisions with a committee that is tied in this way. Mr Rattenbury got up and talked at the Indian function the other night about the four pillars of the Greens. I think one of the four pillars of the Greens just collapsed under the strain of Mr Rattenbury being a ministry holder in this government.
The problem for us, and it is a problem for the people of the ACT, is that scrutiny goes out the window with this. I would like to hear what the pecking order is. Is education less important than the health committee? Is health less important than justice? Is justice less important than planning? Apparently they are all less important than public accounts. Which are the scrutiny committees? Apparently public accounts is a scrutiny committee, so what do the education, health, justice and planning committees do? They do not scrutinise? When a draft variation comes to the planning committee, is that not open for scrutiny or is it just there to rubberstamp what the government does?
It is a disgraceful outcome. It should not be supported. What it shows is that we well and truly have a majority government, that the Greens have been subsumed into the government, or is it the government that has been subsumed into the Greens? I am not sure which dog is wagging which tail here or which tail is wagging which dog, because what you find here, of course, is that we have the Greens and the Labor Party in lockstep, as they were indeed for the last four years. They will clearly be in lockstep for the next four years. What they are afraid of is scrutiny. What they are afraid of are the reports of the public accounts committee. What they are not in favour of, and indeed what Mr Rattenbury is not in favour of, is accountable and transparent government, because if he votes this out this is one more diminution of accountable and transparent government in the ACT.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (11.56): The provision for two members