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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 7 Hansard (29 June) . . Page.. 2776..


absence of any rumour and that this is why we agree to debate the matter in principle today. So that is why the Greens will be supporting the suspension of standing orders.

Question put:

That Mrs Dunne's motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10: Ms Bresnan Mr Coe Mr Doszpot Mrs Dunne Mr Hanson Ms Hunter Ms Le Couteur Mr Rattenbury Mr Seselja Mr Smyth

Noes 7: Mr Barr Dr Bourke Ms Burch Mr Corbell Ms Gallagher Mr Hargreaves Ms Porter

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

Electoral (Donation Limit) Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 22 June 2011, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.31): The government will not be supporting this bill today, for a number of very important and critical reasons.

First, however, I wish to examine the circumstances in which this legislation comes before the Assembly. In his presentation speech, Mr Smyth said that this bill responds to community concerns about a "prospective"political donation. He did not identify who might be going to make that donation or to which political entity or how much might be donated. In order to address the purpose of this bill, it is therefore necessary to repeat much of what Mr Smyth said when he tabled his bill, which is not accompanied by an explanatory statement. I would hesitate to say, Mr Speaker, that in these circumstances an explanatory statement might have been helpful. Mr Smyth said:

The basis for this bill arises from the concerns raised by members of the community with me about a certain organisation which, it is understood, could be considering arranging to make a substantial donation to a political party operating in the ACT. The manner of this donation is reputed to be of such a significant size, and to be contemplated in such a way, as to raise the concern that it is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the inquiry into campaign finance reform, which is being conducted by the justice and community safety committee of this Assembly.

In the lead-up to the prospect of long-term campaign finance reform following the report of the justice and community safety committee, this bill has a very


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