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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 8 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 2334..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

contributions from them were particularly healthy. However, Mr Speaker, this parliament is the only one that has its scrutiny of Bills committee subsumed into another one. The other parliaments have at least recognised the importance of this role and have standing committees in their own right. I am not convinced that what we do is the best way of doing it. We came off fairly well in comparison with some of the other committees, but I have to say that there are a few things left that we could do a little bit better than we are doing at the moment.

Mr Speaker, one of the things that we brought up in our report was our Administration (Interstate Agreements) Act and there was quite an expression of interest from other parliaments in it and our approach to the scrutiny of legislation before it becomes law. The delegate from South Australia was so enraptured by the whole thing that he took a copy of the Act home with him, with our blessing and our felicitations. It was nice to go to one of these forums where you are in there with the big boys and have something that they can learn from the little parliament in the ACT. I was thrilled to pieces with that.

Mr Speaker, the other thing which occupied a bit of time in the conference was the national legislative reforms that are going on at the moment. We will soon see some stuff brought down by the Minister for Urban Services on transport reform. The conference actually considered just how those pieces of legislation, the template legislation, could be scrutinised. I do not think we actually came to a conclusion on that, but it was highlighted as being one of the things that we need to look at.

I made the point that we need to consider the scrutiny of international agreements which are signed off by the Commonwealth. Often these international agreements have an impact on a smaller State or Territory but they get left out of the loop. I think that this issue will be one of the agenda items at further conferences down the track.

Mr Speaker, I would just like to reiterate my appreciation of the support of Mr Hird, Mr Bayne and Mrs Harsdorf and thank the Assembly for the opportunity of attending the conference.

MR HIRD: I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR HIRD: As a member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety and the Territory's delegation to the Seventh Australasian and Pacific Conference on Delegated Legislation and the Fourth Australasian and Pacific Conference on the Scrutiny of Bills, I join the Deputy Chairman, Mr Hargreaves, in this debate. I take issue with his indication that he made a fool of himself. It was quite the contrary, Mr Speaker. Mr Hargreaves acquitted himself admirably and performed in what I would call a distinguished manner on behalf of the citizens of this great Territory. That may be of surprise to some members of this place, but it certainly was not of any surprise to me.

I want to draw members' attention to one other matter. I know the Deputy Clerk will take note of it. His position is very vulnerable, very shaky, because Celia Harsdorf did an excellent job. Mr Hargreaves and I do not have the numbers as yet, but we are


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