Page 3779 - Week 13 - Thursday, 18 October 1990

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Thursday, 18 October 1990


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


Report - Government Response

Debate resumed from 26 April 1990, on motion by Mr Jensen:

That the report be noted.

MR KAINE (Chief Minister) (10.31): Mr Speaker, today I table the Alliance Government's response to the report of the Legislative Assembly's Select Committee on Self-Government. Mr Speaker, by way of refreshing everybody's memory, the select committee was established on 4 July last year to inquire into and report on matters ranging from the electoral system, through land and management issues to Federal-ACT financial relations. I originally chaired the committee and was ably supported then by Mr Duby, Ms Maher, Mr Jensen and Mr Wood and from 15 December last year Ms Maher and Mr Jensen replaced Mr Duby and me as chairman and deputy chairman.

The committee's recommendations have been crafted, I believe, with a good deal of vision and the Government supports most of them. The Government agrees with the committee that the ACT should have the same level of responsibility as the States and the Northern Territory to determine its own affairs. To do otherwise - to accept less - is to deny the ACT justice and to undermine the principles which underlie the very concept of democratic government. In no other Australian State or Territory jurisdiction are a government's powers curtailed over such a wide range of issues as they are in the ACT.

The committee rightly highlights some inadequacies in existing planning arrangements. The Government agrees that an improved mechanism is needed for consultation with the Commonwealth on the National Capital Plan. Much headway has already been made in this regard, but future difficulties could well be avoided if, for example, the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Act 1988 were to provide a mutually agreed definition of the term "national significance".

The Government supports investigation of the concept of an administrator for the ACT. The ACT's form of Westminster government provides for a legislature, an executive and a judiciary, but no head of state to provide a symbol above politics and a source of continuity. The Government agrees

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