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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 May 2007) . . Page.. 799 ..

centralisation and control of the territory government move increasingly to the Chief Minister and as he takes over more and more responsibility from his cabinet.

The people of Canberra have a legitimate expectation that their government will be transparent in its operations. The government has ignored that expectation. It has disregarded the need for openness and responsibility. The unwillingness of the current government to provide these reports is an indictment of their commitment to good governance principles.

I hope that the government will support this bill, but I would not be surprised if it failed to do so. The rationale for opposing it would be very thin. Failure to support the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2007 (No 2) would be another example of a government that, exercising a majority in a unicameral parliament, has departed from its own stated core values. It is one thing to commit on paper to values like openness, accountability and responsibility but, as in the example of those opposite, it is quite another entirely to adhere to those principles in practice.

I have no qualms in stating that the Liberal Party in the ACT is committed to open, accountable and responsible government. These good governance principles, which require information about things like capital works to be available publicly, should be a cornerstone of any government’s administration. I commend the bill to the Assembly and urge the government, and indeed the Greens, to embrace the principles that it seeks to enshrine in legislation.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope) adjourned to the next sitting.

Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2007

Dr Foskey, pursuant to notice, presented the bill.

Title read by Clerk.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (10.45): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am very pleased to introduce the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2007 because I believe that it will assist the ACT to get out of a dilemma that it experienced after a more comprehensive bill was accepted in this Assembly some years ago.

This purpose of the bill is to amend the Animal Welfare Act to ban the keeping of hens in a battery cage environment. This is not a new concept in the ACT. Since the late 1970s there have been consistent calls to ban the keeping of hens in battery cages. The Greens previously introduced legislation similar to this bill, and that legislation was passed by this Assembly in 1997. Despite it being passed, battery eggs have continued to be produced here in the ACT in the 10 intervening years, due to the enacted legislation not being able to commence because some states did not agree to an exemption of the Mutual Recognition Act. I will go into more detail about that in a moment.

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