Page 3275 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013
wish it to be noted that they do not support the report and do not support the process undertaken for report deliberation.
This was poor process, and if it stands it means that from now on any committee chair will be able to write whatever they want, and as long as they have just one colleague to back them up, it will be rammed through as the words of the committee. That is very risky indeed. If something is a draw in this place—if there is a tie at two-all or eight-all or seven-all or any number—it is deemed not to have passed. Yet in the committee process, if what Mr Gentleman did is endorsed by this place, it would mean that for all time in committees with a two-all draw, as long as the chair is the author of the report, that would be enough to get something through. That is a very risky precedent for this chamber to endorse.
I am pleased it seems both sides of the chamber will be supporting the referral back to committee of the document Mr Gentleman tabled and which he said was the view of the committee. We look forward to deliberating on this and that the motion that the report be adopted be fairly put to all members.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Health and Minister for Higher Education) (3.58): The government will support this motion. It is disappointing that this matter has come to the Assembly today and was not resolved within the committee. I was out of the chamber this morning, but I seem to recall that Madam Speaker said she had previous knowledge that this matter was going to be brought to the Assembly today. The chair of the committee did not appear to have previous knowledge.
The message I am trying to put is that we have a committee system in place and the Assembly has expressed its view about how that is to work. Now it is up to individual committees to make sure it works. Where there are problems, Mr Coe, they should be agitated through the committee process and members should work with the chair to resolve them and get on and deal with them so we do not have this sort of situation. This is really a bit of a stunt pulled to demonstrate the fact that you are not happy with two-all committees. It is unseemly that this should come to the place as it has. It needs to be resolved in committee. You are masters of your own destiny. You have a voice, Mr Coe. Use it in the committee.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.00): Yet again the Chief Minister shows her ignorance because if she knew the practice of this place and if she knew the practice of the place that fathered us, the House of Reps, she would know that where there is dissent or concern about the processes of a committee, then the place to resolve it is the chamber. And what are we doing? We are following House of Representatives practice by resolving it in the chamber.
Let me read to you from page 662 of the House of Representatives Practice sixth edition where it says:
Any concern about committee procedure or authority can be brought to the attention of the House in a special report, a dissenting report or in a debate on a motion that the House take note of a report.