Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 2845..
MR HARGREAVES (continuing):
I also draw attention to the fact that the appointment of an electoral commissioner is a time-limited appointment. I draw the similarity—not even a similarity; a big difference, I suppose—between those appointments and appointments to the bench, to the judiciary. In most jurisdictions, in fact, ex-politicians, attorneys-general, have been appointed to the bench. The High Court was peppered with people who were former attorneys-general. Barton was one; Murphy was another. They were not banned for life because of their service to their community. In a funny kind of sense, the community took advantage of the vast experience of both of those two gentlemen when they were appointed to the High Court.
I suggest to you, Mr Speaker, that there is a conflict here. We are saying that a person cannot be appointed for a period of years to a position of electoral commissioner, yet we can appoint someone for life—or up to the age of 75 or something like that, anyway—to the bench immediately. That is a bit rich. The government will not be supporting the opposition's amendment. I will, as soon as the vote is taken, seek leave to move Mr Corbell's amendment.
That Mr Stefaniak's amendment be agreed to.
The Assembly voted—
Question so resolved in the negative.
MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella—Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Housing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (11.01): I seek leave to move amendment No 1, circulated in the name of Mr Corbell, and to table a supplementary explanatory statement to the amendment.
MR HARGREAVES: I move the amendment circulated in Mr Corbell's name [see schedule 2 at page 2907]. I table a supplementary explanatory statement to the amendment.
I will not address the amendment in detail because we have spoken to that already. There seems to be universal agreement on the second part of the amendment. On the first part of the amendment, I have already indicated the case for not going with a lifetime ban. We believe that 10 years is a suitable period for a person to have the perception of divorce from the political process of parliamentary life. That is a reasonable position to