Yesterday Jeremy Hanson made a not overly sincere offer to expand the Ministry from five to six.
Here at RiotACT we noted this would banjo the committee system in the Assembly.
Chief Minister Gallagher has joined that refrain:
“Just one week ago the opposition leader refused to support an increase to the size of the Legislative Assembly, against the recommendations of an independent Expert Reference Group (ERG), but this week he appears to have changed his tune, saying the workload of the executive is too much for five ministers.
“Mr Hanson needs to make up his mind and be clear with the community about his position and stop treating the ACT Legislative Assembly like a playground.”
The ERG recommended an increase in the size of assembly from the current 17 members to 25 by 2016.
The Chief Minister said legislation, as proposed by the opposition leader, would also disproportionately influence the workload of the non-executive government members.
“This bill does not affect the workload of the opposition at all, but significantly changes the workload for the backbench, and the balance in the Assembly, by completely shifting the power on the committees to the opposition,” the Chief Minister said.
“At the moment the government has four backbenchers who sit on approximately four committees each whereas the opposition members only have one or two committee positions each. This is an issue of balance and one that the opposition leader is not taking seriously.”
“I welcome the opposition leader’s back-flip on the issue of the size of the Assembly and look forward to his mature engagement on the size of the assembly debate.”