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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3799..


Thursday, 7 December 2000

_________________________

MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair at 10.31 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

ASSEMBLY BUSINESS - PRECEDENCE

Suspension of Standing and Temporary Orders

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Care) (10.32): I move:

That so much of the standing and temporary orders be suspended as would prevent order of the day No 35, private Members' business, relating to the Public Access to Government Contracts Bill 2000, being called on forthwith.

Mr Speaker, yesterday in private members business, Mr Stanhope adjourned the debate on the Public Access to Government Contracts Bill. There was a misunderstanding on my part as to what arrangements had been made or not made with regard to that legislation. The government had indicated to Mr Osborne that we would be supporting the passage of the bill, albeit with a significant number of amendments. To correct what happened, we have agreed to provide some time from executive business to deal with that legislation now.

Question resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS BILL 2000

Debate resumed from 6 December 2000, on motion by Mr Osborne:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (10.34): When I adjourned this debate yesterday, I think there was some misunderstanding. I had certain understandings in relation to how the matter was to proceed. I regret the confusion that occurred, and I am more than happy to proceed with the bill now. The Labor Party is happy to support this bill. The Labor Party is also supportive of the range of amendments that have been proposed.

The significant issue of how the government should deal the confidentiality of contracts, how confidentiality clauses should be drafted, how they should be utilised and how the government should report on its contractors and contractual arrangements has been much debated and commented on over the last couple of years.


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