Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 3721..
MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
MR SPEAKER: Order! Before I call the Clerk, I would like to bring to the attention of members the provisions of Assembly standing order 130. Standing order 130 provides that a matter on the notice paper must not be anticipated by a matter of public importance, an amendment or other less effective form of proceeding. The rule is a basic one of parliamentary proceedings. House of Representatives Practice outlines at page 308 the application of the rule in relation to motions and states that bills or other orders of the day are more effective than a motion.
Private members business notice No 7 on today's notice paper calls upon the government to ensure that certain action is taken concerning the provision of drug injecting equipment and procedures for the distribution of such equipment. Order of the day No 33, private members business, sets down for consideration the resumption of debate on the question that the Needle Exchange Bill 2000 be agreed to in principle. Having considered the content of the Needle Exchange Bill 2000, particularly part 4, I have concluded that debate on notice No 7 today would anticipate debate on the bill. I therefore must rule debate today on the notice out of order.
Ms Tucker, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MS TUCKER (10.34): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
This bill had its genesis in a debate we had in the Assembly last September regarding the financial disclosure provisions in the Electoral Act for Independent MLAs. At present, parties and Independent MLAs must provide to the Electoral Commissioner an annual return detailing certain amounts paid to the party or Independent MLA over the year and the amounts spent on various campaign expenses. MLAs representing parties do not have to put in any annual returns. The government put forward an amendment to the Electoral Act so that Independent MLAs would no longer have to declare in their annual returns all income they received, only donations and gifts relating to their position as an MLA.