calls for an Assembly overhaulBenDWednesday, 7 September 2005Former ACT chief minister Kate Carnell has recommended a radical overhaul of the ACT's Legislative Assembly, suggesting an abandonment of the Westminster system of government in favour of a city council-style administration. Mrs Carnell, ACT chief minister between 1995 and 2000 and now chief executive of health lobby Australian Divisions of General Practice, said yesterday that the adversarial Westminster system was too inefficient for a governing body as small as the ACT's 17-member Assembly, with too much work left to too few.
But Mrs Carnell
, who is still an active member of the Liberal Party
, said it was the system of government, not the size of the Assembly which needed change.
"I don't think it is necessary [to increase the size of the Assembly].I think what we could look at is a bit of a different system, where the people who aren't in government, the opposition and the cross-bench, are better utilised, so you have some sort of hybrid between a city council and our current form of government." Mrs Carnell
said regardless of the size of the Assembly, under a Westminster system about half the members would always be in opposition.
believed that in a small jurisdiction such as the ACT, combining the municipal and state government functions of a government in one administration was an efficient method of governance.