Page 4371 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Regional Development—Select Committee

Alteration to reporting date

MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (10.02), by leave: I move:

That the resolution of the Assembly of 28 February 2013 establishing the Select Committee on Regional Development, as amended on 17 September 2013, be amended by omitting the words “shall report no later than the last sitting day in November 2013” and substituting “shall report no later than the first sitting week in February 2014”.

The initial extension the committee asked for was to allow regional councils to come along and give evidence at a time that was convenient for all of them, and 11 of those councils chose to do so. On this occasion, new documents have come to the committee’s attention at very short notice. A number of submissions were made at the regional development committee hearings and, in the committee’s view, it would be disrespectful to all of the witnesses who gave their submissions for the committee not to give due consideration to all of that information.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.03): I have a slightly different view of the issue. The issue is that the chair did not present under the standing orders the fact that two reports were to be deliberated upon, and the chair refused to move forward and have a vote to choose which draft report. The new document she talks about is, in fact, a report I have written, an alternative report, for the committee. We have the chair’s draft report and the committee has my draft report. What members opposite would not do was move forward to a vote, and that is why we are delaying. The Assembly needs to know that the committee has only met twice since August, and that was on Tuesday and Wednesday. The full story is that we are afraid of moving to a debate about which draft report gets considered. That is the full context.

Members will remember that when this committee was set up it was to report in August so that the work could be included in the regional plan the Chief Minister is putting together. By now reporting in February, this work will have no impact on the work the government is doing. It makes a mockery of the whole committee process and the reason for this committee being set up. That being said, it is impossible not to give the extension, otherwise the committee will collapse today.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

National disability insurance scheme

Ministerial statement

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Children and Young People, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Women,

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