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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 6 Hansard (5 June) . . Page.. 1823..

In addition to this, in its submission to the inquiry the Electoral Commission mentioned that it was preparing a report on the operation of the electoral campaign finance reforms. The Electoral Commission states in that submission that the report would be provided later in the year. The government is mindful of this ongoing work and will consider it in due course. The government is presenting these two bills to increase the size of the Assembly today because the policy basis for them is clear, the timing is right, and there is clear support across this Assembly.

The Electoral Act requires that a redistribution of electorates for the Assembly must begin as soon as practicable after the day two years before the next general election. This will be in October this year. It is therefore necessary, if an increase to 25 members with five members returned from each of the five electorates is to be achieved in time for the 2016 election, that the Assembly consider this legislation as soon as possible. Any further amendments that may be required to the Electoral Act can therefore be considered later in the year once the select committee inquiry reports.

The two bills I am tabling today will improve representative government for the people of the ACT. This is an important reform, one which recognises both the increased size of our population and the unique role and function of this Assembly in serving the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Australian Capital Territory (Legislative Assembly) Bill 2014

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations and Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development) (10.45): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I am introducing the Australian Capital Territory (Legislative Assembly) Bill. This bill, with the Electoral Amendment Bill I have just introduced, will increase the size of this Assembly from 17 to 25 members. This is an important measure which will improve representative democracy and support good governance for the people of the ACT. By increasing the number of members of this Assembly, responsibility for the local government and territory functions of the Assembly can be shared amongst more members and more ministers, leading to improved governance for all Canberrans.

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