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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 31 July 2018) . . Page.. 2356 ..

to underline it today. It was around sexual health. I note that the Chief Health Officer’s annual report will be delivered later today. I will be very interested to see what it contains in respect of this issue.

During the inquiry we heard evidence that sexually transmitted infections are generally trending up in the ACT. This is concerning. I think we are probably the most sexually educated generation coming through, so the fact that this is the reality says that there is something not quite right here. It has made me, and I think the committee as a whole, reflect on whether there is more that we can be doing in this area. That is dealt with in our report, with numerous recommendations.

We have many excellent organisations in the ACT that are leading the way in promoting good health and good sexual health. But I do think there is more that we can be doing, including as leaders in this place. I look forward to the responses from the government to those recommendations.

We also asked a number of questions about women’s safety, some of which Ms Le Couteur touched on before. This is incredibly important, not just for the committee but for the community more broadly, particularly in light of the tragedies in Victoria. I know that those recommendations will be taken very seriously by the government.

I want to take the time I have left to implore this Assembly, through the administration and procedure committee, to take very seriously the committee’s comment about whether a select committee is the right choice for dealing with estimates. There are some clear benefits—I will acknowledge that there are—in one committee examining the entire budget over a dedicated time period.

However, the many drawbacks outweigh the benefits. Having lived through them, I can certainly attest to that. Drawbacks include members becoming unwell, either during or after the hearings, and how time consuming it is. It is important to point out that sitting days are generally shorter than estimates hearing days.

On top of this, our other work as members does not cease. This puts a very high amount of pressure on staff and on members, and arguably inhibits to some degree members’ effectiveness. This is assuming situation normal, not taking into account changes in staffing or illness, or a member having, for example, a newborn in the family.

The potential inefficiencies are another major drawback. There were a number of times that select committee members were asking questions when an entire inquiry had already been done by a standing committee or when members of a standing committee well and truly knew the answer and nothing new was being examined or exposed. Another impact, of course, is that on our committee secretaries, who are always professional and who give their full commitment to this work but who are undoubtedly affected.

For these reasons, I think it makes a lot more sense for standing committees to examine the budget. It is exactly what they do up in the federal parliament. I am

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