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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 7 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 2751..


MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (4.28): by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name together [see schedule 2 at page 2783].

Amendments 1 and 2 are minor and correct an error in the bill where it should say "director-general"instead of "minister"and I do note that this was highlighted by Mrs Dunne's office. Amendment 3 corrects an unintentional drafting error. We intended that the official visitors for mental health would be required to visit only those mental health facilities operated by the territory at least once a month and for the official visitors for mental health to have the discretion as to how often they inspected community mental health facilities.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Electoral (Donation Limit) Amendment Bill 2011

Clause 1.

Debate resumed from 29 June 2011.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (4.30): When this bill was presented on 22 June last year I indicated that the government would be opposing the bill. I will reiterate some of those reasons later in my speech, but to begin with I would like to add a few more.

When this bill was first brought to the attention of the Assembly it sparked a vigorous debate about the funding of parties, candidates and elections. Members will recall that since then several things have occurred. First of all, the standing committee's report on campaign finance has been handed down. The government has provided its response and there has been debate and the passage of the Electoral Amendment Act 2012. This act reflects the will of the Assembly, at the time when the legislation was passed, on the questions of campaign finance. That amendment act dealt primarily with part 14 of the amending act. It was about limiting political gifts, donations and expenditure and setting up further accountability mechanisms for parties, MLAs, candidates and the operations of the Electoral Commission. Mr Smyth and indeed other members of the Canberra Liberals did not move for cognate debate of this bill with that bill when it was passed in May this year. Further, elements of Mr Smyth's bill were sought to be incorporated into the act through amendments proposed by Mrs Dunne. They have been debated and decided upon accordingly in this place.

Each of the parties represented here had its own package of changes, its own aspirations for the operations of campaign finance law. The result was, in essence, a compromise. Whatever level of satisfaction members may have with the outcome of the debate, it is the concluded view of this Assembly after a detailed and lengthy


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