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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 7 Hansard (4 August) . .

Page.. 2380..

Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Ayes 8: Mr Barr Ms Berry Dr Bourke Ms Burch Mr Corbell Ms Fitzharris Mr Hinder Mr Rattenbury

Noes 7:Mr Coe Mr Doszpot Mrs Dunne Mr Hanson Mrs Jones Ms Lawder Mr Wall

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

Detail stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Urban Renewal) (6.02): Pursuant to standing order 182A(c) and (b) I seek leave to move amendments to the bill that are in response to comments made by the scrutiny committee and are minor and technical in nature together.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: I move amendments Nos 1 to 6 circulated in my name [see schedule 5 at pages 2390-2391]. I table a supplementary explanatory statement to the government amendments.

As I foreshadowed in the in-principle debate, since the bill was introduced to the Assembly back in June—two months ago—significant further consultation has occurred with key stakeholders. The Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety provided extensive comment on the limitations on freedom of speech and political expression imposed by section 9(2)(a) of the bill. The Human Rights Commission expressed similar concerns. The government has taken these concerns on board. Whilst, of course, there was never any intent to gag public servants or limit their ability to appropriately express negative opinions of the government, we are happy to put this beyond any doubt with this amendment.

Amendments 2 and 3 reflect response to concerns raised in regard to the modernisation of language in relation to a public servant's obligation to report any misconduct of which they become aware under section 9(4) of the bill. Some stakeholders viewed this as a significant increase from the previous requirement to

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