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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 5 August 2021) . . Page.. 2353 ..

The right to vote is fundamentally tied to whether a person is capable of making significant and long-term decisions and, if so, whether they should be empowered to do so. It is time for government to consider that fundamental question for 16- and 17-year-olds in the ACT. That is why I dissented from that particular committee recommendation. I would like to see the government explore that question further.

The committee also made recommendations that public electoral funding given to political parties should be linked to actual expenditure. But the committee made no recommendation about public administrative funding. I find this inconsistent. Administrative funding is allocated per MLA per year. During the 2016-20 Assembly ACT Labor and the Canberra Liberals each received over $1 million in administrative funding and the ACT Greens received around $172,000. It is a significant amount of public money.

Many of the bookkeeping systems that need to be set up for one MLA can be efficiently expanded to cover multiple MLAs. Most businesses and government organisations understand economies of scale. A system which covers more people becomes cheaper to operate per person. On this basis, there is surely room to consider reducing administrative funding, either to an absolute cap, such as capping it to a maximum of five MLAs, or by linking it directly with administrative expenditure. I recommend that if the government is considering linking public funding with expenditure it should also cap administrative funding or link administrative funding with expenditure too.

Our inquiry gives opportunities for further thoughtful reform and so I have lodged a dissenting report. But I thank my colleagues for a useful and thoughtful investigation.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.54): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety relating to statutory appointments in accordance with continuing resolution 5A. During the reporting period 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021, the committee considered a total of 14 appointments and reappointments to the following bodies: Gambling and Racing Commission Board, Official Visitors for the Disability Service Act 1991, Racing Appeals Tribunal, Public Trustee and Guardian Investment Board, ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, Official Visitors for the Mental Health Act 2015 and Professional Standards Council.

I now table the following schedule:

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee—Schedule of Statutory Appointments—10th Assembly—Period 1 January to 30 June 2021.

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