Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 August 2017) . . Page.. 2380 ..
but I understand the principle is something we have to make sure we uphold at every opportunity. To put this in some perspective, this happens on a regular basis in the planning committee. I was on the planning committee for eight years and I can recall situations where you would be doing an inquiry into something and somebody would say, “Well, have you written to this person or have you written to that person? Have you written to the community councils? Have you written to this proponent or that proponent?” Usually you would say yes or no or, “Look, I’m not sure. Do you think we should?” More often than not they would say yes, because that is why they are making the suggestion. Yes, I understand we have the principle to uphold here, but we have to also make sure we are using the collective reach of members to ensure that the committees are going as far and as wide as they need to.
I also think it is important that we appreciate the fact that people in this place do a fair bit of media and there is a fair chance you are going to get a question about a committee inquiry even if that was not the original purpose of the media interview. It is not appropriate to simply shut it down and say, “No, we’re not going to make the most of this opportunity to talk about the work of the committee and talk about possible inquiries.”
To pick up on Mr Rattenbury’s final point, perhaps better clarity on guidelines is required. But especially with the example I gave about the planning committee, it is important that we have the flexibility for members of the committee and the chair to be free in talking about the work of the committee so that we can get as much engagement as possible in the work we are doing in this place.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (3.57): I move:
That the debate be adjourned.
A division being called and the bells being rung—
MADAM SPEAKER: Whilst we are waiting for people to come, I have heard various comments about, “This must be dealt with.” There is a motion before the floor. Precedence was about bringing on Mr Pettersson’s motion. If the Assembly raises another motion to adjourn that debate, it can be debated and it can be adjourned. There is some thought from some members that they may have wanted time to read the Clerk’s advice, which was very slow in being circulated, I must admit. But unless I was asked from the floor for that advice to be tabled, I was not necessarily ready to offer it up in the first place. The Clerk’s advice has been circulated. The current question is that the debate be adjourned. That is the current question before the floor, and that is what we are having the division on. Are we all clear? And everyone who can be here is here, so lock the doors.