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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 3 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 933..


Title read by Clerk.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo—Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Housing, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for Ageing) (11.08): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased today to table the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Amendment Bill 2014. In November 2012 I presented a bill to amend the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Act 2008 to allow greater participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans in the election of their representative body.

That bill permitted the election to be held over the NAIDOC period that would see increased engagement of candidates and maximise the ability of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to participate. NAIDOC Week, formerly the National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Observance Committee, is a time of celebration and engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and community.

Since that time discussions have been held with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and the elected body on the upcoming election in July this year. In those discussions the elected body and community have asked that the election commence on the first Saturday that NAIDOC celebrations are held here in the ACT. This is the official start day in the ACT with the ACT NAIDOC awards and ball. A number of those here in the Assembly today have attended this wonderful event.

This amendment bill makes minor amendments to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Act 2008 that will allow the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body election polling to commence on the first day of NAIDOC celebrations in the territory. This will mean that polling will be from Saturday to Saturday during NAIDOC celebrations. Given that dates of events change over time, an additional clause has been added to allow the responsible minister to declare the polling start date through notifiable instrument. This will prevent the potential need to amend the act again in the future.

In closing, I commend the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elected Body Amendment Bill 2014 to the Assembly and recognise the commitment and capability of our elected body to bring to government the views and expectations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wall) adjourned to the next sitting.

Standing order 6A—amendment

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (11.11): I move:

That standing order 6A be amended as follows:


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