Page 11 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 February 2016

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The government will not be supporting this amendment. We support the position that non-executive members of this place should be able to serve on the Assembly’s committees. Labor has two non-executive members, and they will both serve on committees, in some instances as the chair, in others as the deputy chair, and in other circumstances as members of the committee. There is no reason why Ms Burch cannot serve in the committee system in this place. We have 17 members. If the suggestion is that one non-executive Labor member will be simultaneously chair, deputy chair and member of all committees, that is a ridiculous proposition.

We know what this is about: one last, bitter, personal attempt by those opposite—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Coe, I will have to start warning people. Mr Hanson was heard in silence. I expect Mr Barr to be heard in silence.

MR BARR: And it reflects on the sort of people, the sort of behaviour and standards, personal attacks—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: I warn you, Mr Hanson.

MR BARR: Personal attacks that are the hallmark of this Leader of the Opposition and this sort of petty vindictiveness about the committee system have no place in this Assembly. The basis of the committee system is some hope that members can put aside their partisan political battles from day to day and work constructively on matters that are referred to committees.

What is clear from what we have seen this morning is that in this election year, no matter what the personal cost, no matter how petty, no matter how vindictive, there is no minute political point the opposition leader will not seek to score in debates like this. And that demonstrates much about his character, the sort of person he is, the sort of party he leads. The fact that his members privately reflect their concern at this approach and have approached members on our side to express their concern about this approach speaks volumes about just how wrong, how poor and how petty this is today. But it is what we have come to expect.

It is sad but it does reflect a new low for this place. And that is the most disappointing element here. Disregarding all of the facts, there is no political point he is not prepared to take, no point-scoring exercise he is not prepared to go into, when his members privately express their concern about this approach. What you are doing today is a disgrace, and the government will have no part of it.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (10.27): I will not be supporting Mr Hanson’s amendment today. I think that this is an overreach. This is clearly a political approach to the situation. The tradition of committees in this place, and the very nature of them, is that members go onto those committees and work on the issues. There is always a

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