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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 5 Hansard (2 April) . . Page.. 1754..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

some time. Similarly, the changes in relation to the amendment of bills after they have been presented to the Speaker in relation to clerical, grammatical or typographical errors or amendments consequential on the passage of the bill are supported by the government.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.35): The Canberra Liberals will be supporting these amendments to the standing orders. They have been discussed at length in the admin and procedure committee and they do give us an opportunity to have a better-functioning Assembly and more clarity in the way that we do things.

There was a moment when the Canberra Liberals had some pause about the removal of private members' business from the notice paper after eight weeks but the fact that bills are now excluded removes our concerns. I draw to your attention, for instance, that Mr Seselja in December last year introduced a greenhouse gas targets bill which is subject to an inquiry. That bill has not been referred to the inquiry and it would be inappropriate for it to be dealt with until that inquiry has been completed. That is an example of where it is sometimes appropriate for a bill to sit on the notice paper for some time before being dealt with. That problem having been averted, I think that we welcome the other changes and we will be supporting them.

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

Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety

Reference

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (10.37): I move:

That this Assembly refers the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI Act) to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for inquiry and report to the Assembly under the following terms of reference:

(1) The purposes and principles of freedom of information and the development of thinking on access to information since the introduction of the FOI Act.

(2) Whether the FOI Act satisfies those purposes and principles as well as current thinking, in particular regarding the:

(a) objects of the FOI Act;

(b) appropriateness of provisions exempting classes of documents from the Act;

(c) exemption provisions in Part 4 of the FOI Act;

(d) effectiveness of processes under the FOI Act (including application and review processes) and ways in which those processes can be streamlined and made more efficient and user-friendly; and

(e) timeliness and costs of the provision of freedom of information in the ACT.

(3) Ways to improve and modernise freedom of information, including:


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