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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 7 Hansard (7 August) . .

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receive submissions in considering its decision in response to the inquiry report. It also concluded that its proceedings were judicial in character. The proposed amendments are therefore consistent with the findings of the court.

Ultimately, section 431 is not necessary to the inquiry process. While the provision was drafted in the spirit of limiting the possibilities for endless litigation, the Supreme Court's recent decision in the Eastman inquiry means that it is of limited effect. This amendment will therefore resolve any confusion and prevent arguments about the statute frustrating the court's independent consideration of the report and of any future reports.

It is important to emphasise that this amendment is about avoiding procedural or technical issues with the inquiry process. This amendment will not change or affect the outcome of the present inquiry or any future inquiry. It will not require the Supreme Court to do anything other than what it is now doing. The possible outcomes of the Supreme Court's consideration will not be changed.

These are minimal, straightforward changes that demonstrate the government's commitment to respecting the court's proceedings. They are consistent with the existing process and will support an independent decision by the court about inquiries into convictions.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR SMYTH (Brindabella): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to the committee's recent participation in the Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees mid-term meeting. The 2014 ACPAC mid-term meeting was hosted by the Victorian Public Accounts and Estimates Committee and the Victorian parliament in Melbourne on 20 June 2014. Thirty-six ACPAC delegates attended the meeting, including chairpersons, members and staff of Australasian public accounts committees, including the national parliament of Papua New Guinea's Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts.

Dr Chris Bourke MLA and Ms Nicole Lawder MLA, together with the committee's secretary, represented the PAC of the ACT at the meeting. As the meeting coincided with hearings of the Legislative Assembly's Select Committee on Estimates 2014-15, I, along with the committee's deputy chair, Ms Porter MLA, were unable to attend.

ACPAC, formed in 1989, facilitates the exchange of information and opinions relating to public accounts committees and discusses matters of mutual concern. ACPAC meets every two years in conference with a mid-term meeting to discuss and agree on an agenda for the forthcoming conference and to discuss issues specifically pertaining to Australasian committees.


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