Page 2697 - Week 09 - Thursday, 8 August 2013
I simply conclude by saying that I will not be supporting Mr Hanson’s motion today. I do believe that four-member committees can work. I believe that it really comes down to attitude. It comes down to: do members actually want to make this work? Do they want to focus on the matters that the community is concerned about? And there are no barriers to them doing that. The committees can do exactly those three key functions outlined in the companion—scrutinising proposed legislation, monitoring the activities of the executive and examining public policy issues—with four members. They can set up inquiries, they can call witnesses, they can discuss matters, they can write reports, they can write dissenting reports—they can do all the things that a committee has done in the time that I have been in this place. There is nothing stopping them doing that, other than the attitude of Mr Hanson and his colleagues.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (11.05), in reply: I must say that I am very disappointed—
Mr Smyth: But not surprised.
MR HANSON: but perhaps not surprised. I think that this probably draws a line under any debate about whether Mr Rattenbury is a member of a coalition government or his own entity. As colleagues of mine have reflected, probably he chooses depending on what suits him at the time. But it is fundamentally clear now that the champion of Latimer House principles and of waving around the Clerk’s advice in the last Assembly is now somebody who is prepared to adopt something that in the Clerk’s advice is a step away—I will make sure I do not misquote the Clerk. Yes, it is a “step away from the spirit of those principles”. I think “hypocrisy” is a word that is not to be used; so I will not use it—
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, it is not to be used, Mr Hanson.
MR HANSON: I will struggle to come up with another one, but it is—
Mr Smyth: Two-faced.
MR HANSON: Two-faced; double standards. Clearly, it is a new way. It is interesting that in criticising the old parties, as Mr Rattenbury termed it, he is talking about a new way, using Mr Rudd’s slogan. I am sure that it was just a slip of the tongue that he would choose to quote Mr Rudd’s latest three-word slogan as his choice of emphasising that the new way happens to be the Labor Party policy or the Labor Party slogan. But I know that Mr Rattenbury does get confused between what is Labor Party and what is Greens these days.
I will go to some of the comments from the Chief Minister. She said that I ignored advice from the Clerk during the estimates process. That is not true. I acknowledged the advice from the Clerk. We had it adopted in the minutes. I sought my own advice from the Clerk and the Clerk’s advice—that was tabled in the minutes also—said that, “Standing order 248”—which is the way you consider committee reports—“could be interpreted in a number of ways, but my advice is that your interpretation of that standing order is one way the standing order could be interpreted.” So there was no issue in terms of whether we had taken that advice or not.