Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 9 Hansard (13 August) . .
The procedure must be regarded as highly questionable ...
This is the situation we find ourselves in today.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Lawder): Thank you, Mr Wall. I think you did refer to the mover's motives in such a manner. Just one moment, and I will refresh my memory. As I thought I recalled, I would ask you to withdraw your imputation as to the motives.
MR WALL: I withdraw, Madam Assistant Speaker.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Thank you. Mr Wall.
MR WALL: I was referring to the Companion to the Standing Orders where it states that the procedure to bring on a motion of disallowance for a variation to the territory plan on the day it is presented remains a highly questionable action unless extraordinary circumstances prevail. And there has been an absolute lack of explanation why this motion must be dealt with today with such urgency other than it suits their own agenda. Without that explanation, serious questions must be raised as to why they are forcing this through the Assembly today. The final paragraph on that point in the Companion says:
The giving of notice is generally required for substantive motions. It allows time for full consideration by Members. Publication on the Notice Paper also allows for consideration and comment by the community and it reduces the chances of poor decisions being made.
What we have here is a case where the government are shutting the door on debate, shutting the door on the opportunity for all members of this place to properly consider the substance of the motion before us, shutting the door on all consultation, as we see them do time and again. And what do we get for that? Poor decisions being made.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.46): I guess there are several elements to this discussion. One is the timing and then one is the actual content of the variations. I intend to particularly focus on the second because whilst we have heard a lot of bluster today about process and timing I think it is worth reflecting on the content of the actual variations.
Certainly variation 327 has a fairly unremarkable history. It was launched in August last year but I think the more recent history is the relevant part. There have been a series of public consultation points on the draft variation, and it is worth noting that in terms of the Assembly inquiry that was held there were no submissions received to that inquiry—apparently not one. That goes to, I guess, the content, in the sense that nobody felt the need to write any objections.
There were actually no recommendations arising from the committee inquiry other than the well-rehearsed opposition to light rail, in the broad sense of the opposition to the project from members of the Liberal Party. That is fair enough. That is their opinion. They expressed it in the committee report. But there were no actual points
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