Page 1293 - Week 05 - Thursday, 26 April 1990

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Thursday, 26 April 1990


MR SPEAKER (Mr Prowse) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR JENSEN (10.32): Mr Speaker, I present the report of the Select Committee on Self-Government. I move:

That the report be noted.

This report has the potential to provide an opportunity for stimulating, reasoned political and community debate on the future operations of self-government in the ACT in general and this Assembly in particular. As we all know, the establishment of this select committee arose out of the way in which self-government was inflicted on the people of the ACT without any real consultation, following a process where elements of the Federal administration established self-determination for the people of the ACT after internal discussions. In other words, the terms under which self-government was given to the people of the ACT were decided by the Federal bureaucracy negotiating with itself.

Some of you are familiar with the 1984 Craig report on self-government, which provided advice to the Minister for Territories and Local Government in May 1984. The Craig report saw a major role for the then ACT Legislative Assembly in developing the terms under which full self-government was to be given to the ACT people. Of course, the Assembly was abolished by a sunset clause before it could play this role. What we now have to do is to attempt to salvage what we can from the decisions taken without any real, meaningful consultation. This report provides a starting point for this debate.

I am also pleased to advise the Assembly that this is substantially a majority report. My colleague Mr Wood has seen fit to comment on a small number of issues of detail. As Mr Wood has said in the opening remarks in his additional comments, I do not believe this affects what is a considered response to the terms of reference. I am sure he will tell us the reasons why he was unable to accept the priority listing of electoral systems indicated in paragraph 12.74. However, it would seem likely, given statements by the responsible Federal Ministers, that the people of the ACT will have a say, anyway, in which electoral system they prefer, and that is as it should be.

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