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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 1814..


MRS CARNELL (continuing):

I am pleased that the committee has accepted and endorsed the traditional role of the Speaker in maintaining order in the Assembly. The committee has also recommended the preparation of parliamentary precincts legislation to define the precise limits of the Assembly and make appropriate provision for their control and management. The Government response supports the recommendations but proposes to take the further step of setting the precincts definition within a wider parliamentary privileges law that applies specifically to the ACT Legislative Assembly. The Government undertakes to finalise the legislation for introduction in the spring 1997 sittings.

These matters have been variously considered by the Assembly and the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure at different junctures. The opportunity has now presented itself to pull all these issues together. Given the commitment to precincts legislation as well as to the broadcasting law, which was considered by the standing committee last year, the Government believes that all these issues should now be resolved through legislation specifically applying to the ACT Legislative Assembly.

In particular, parliamentary privileges legislation for the ACT Legislative Assembly is well overdue. In coming to this view, the Government has noted an Attorney-General's Department issues paper on parliamentary privilege applying to the ACT Legislative Assembly. The paper has already been provided to members. The Attorney-General's Department paper makes the important point that powers and privileges of the Commonwealth Parliament do not always translate well to the ACT. As a result, the laws of privilege applying to this Assembly are not always clear or easy to find. As it is necessary to define the precincts, we should take the step of resolving these other questions at the same time.

The Government, therefore, endorses the standing committee's recommendations but supports taking the wider step of clarifying other matters that relate to the powers and privileges of the Legislative Assembly. Provisions relating to the broadcasting of Assembly proceedings could also be covered by this privileges law, although Mr Moore's Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting of Proceedings) Bill 1995 will cover this aspect. I intend this to be a collaborative exercise, with the common goal of resolving these issues. This is in all our interests and would stand as a significant achievement of this Assembly. Mr Speaker, I commend the Government's report to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Ms McRae) adjourned.

LEGAL AFFAIRS - STANDING COMMITTEE
Report on Proposed Restructuring of ACT Emergency Services

MR OSBORNE (11.59): Mr Speaker, I present Report No. 4 of the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs entitled "Inquiry into the Proposed Restructuring of the ACT Emergency Services", together with a copy of extracts of the minutes of proceedings. I move:

That the report be noted.


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