Page 918 - Week 03 - Thursday, 28 February 2013
five members of the committee, as has been the practice over many years now. We believe an opposition member should be the chair of the committee. Parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 outline exactly how that should work. They are the standard pieces that come with the setting up of a committee so that the committee can operate. I suggest members back the proposal.
MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (10.23): In large part, the government does support the motion moved by Mr Smyth. I have two minor amendments that I will move shortly that have been circulated in my name.
The first includes the appropriation for the Office of the Legislative Assembly as part of the estimates committee’s work. I imagine it was just a cut and paste job from previous times that inadvertently omitted the Office of the Legislative Assembly from estimates committee scrutiny. I presume it was not a deliberate attempt to have that small part of the annual appropriation not subject to the committee’s attention.
The second amendment I have moved puts in place the practice that is the case for all committees in this Eighth Assembly; that is, given the equal numbers of the major parties and that the crossbench member is in the executive and so is ineligible to sit on the committees, there be an even number of government and opposition members on the committee. So the amendment seeks to ensure that there are two members from the opposition and two members from the government. And in line with what is an agreed position for this Assembly, the opposition would chair the committee.
MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Barr, before you sit down, you need to seek leave to move the amendments together and then move the amendments.
MR BARR: Sorry, Madam Speaker. I seek leave to move the amendments together.
MR BARR: I move:
(1) Omit paragraph (1), substitute:
“(1) a Select Committee on Estimates 2013-2014 be appointed to examine the expenditure proposal contained in the Appropriation Bill 2013-2014, the Appropriation (Office of the Legislative Assembly) Bill 2013-2014 and any revenue estimates proposed by the Government in the 2013-2014 Budget and prepare a report to the Parliament;”.
(2) Omit subparagraph (2)(b), substitute:
“(b) two Members to be nominated by the Opposition;”.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.25): Speaking to the amendment, yes, Mr Barr is right. We simply cut and pasted last year’s motion. I do apologise for missing the Legislative Assembly. There was no intention to leave that out. We always enjoy having the Speaker before the estimates committee.