Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 August 2014) . . Page.. 1950 ..
MS BERRY (Ginninderra) (11.38): I will make a few comments on the estimates process. This has been my first estimates process as being part of the committee, but I am not naive to the partisan way committee scrutiny can often be used. However, through this committee process the benefits an equally weighted committee can have in fulfilling their intended role were proved. Throughout this process the committee undertook what it was supposed to: a balanced and in-depth consideration of the important issues facing our community.
The estimates committee draws on the strength and skills of our entire Assembly in the formulation of the budget, and it asks local members like me, Ms Porter, Mrs Jones and Mr Smyth to bring our experiences to the process of considering priorities in a tight fiscal environment. It allows us to formally consider the budget through the eyes of the communities that we represent, whether they are our geographical electorates or community groups where we all have unique relationships.
I believe this is evident in the recommendations that appear in the report, many of which are not directly related to the allocation of funds but more to the full understanding of government policy that is reflected in those numbers. I was particularly pleased by the depth of question this year’s productive and collegiate committee process allowed for. Through the committee process, members followed up on issues important to their constituencies, whether this was workplace bullying, collection of health data or outcomes for the ageing.
This collegiate process also offered a chance to make the best use of contributions from community groups, like 350.org, UnitingCare, YWCA, Youth Coalition, and SCOA, whose important perspectives, which were taken on board by committee members, were offered across a range of portfolios.
This is, of course, a document that represents the compromise that was necessary to ensure that the views of all members could be represented, but what I think is most important is that it is also evidence of what can be achieved in a truly bipartisan committee when all parties come to the table. I believe the process that got us here today was productive and that the report, read as a whole, reflects the strength of a bipartisan committee model.
I, too, want to thank all of the committee members, all of the committee staff and support, particularly Brian for his patience at the end in interpreting all our conversations at once, and also my own staff and those of Mrs Jones, Ms Porter, and Mr Smyth.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee
Scrutiny report 20
MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (11.42): I present the following report:
Justice and Community Safety (Legislative Scrutiny Role)—Standing Committee—Scrutiny Report 20, dated 31 July 2014, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.