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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1583 ..


and perhaps bring it into law. So all those years of work and effort had come to naught.

On 1 December 2009, I wrote to Mr Corbell, noting that there had been no industry consultation on the bill and calling on him to withdraw the bill from the debating program so that consultation could take place. To date, Mr Corbell has not responded to that letter formally, except to the extent that he withdrew the bill from the program for the December period. But that has been the only form of reply.

The code committee was very happy with that result because it thought there would now be an opportunity for Mr Corbell to consult with the industry through the code committee. But that hope has also turned out to be for naught. Mr Corbell did nothing more than to put the bill in the bottom drawer of his desk, until he announced at a government business meeting on 3 February that the bill would be debated the following week.

Later that day, I contacted the MTA to ask what consultation had taken place on the bill since it was withdrawn from the program in December. The response was one of surprise from the MTA. There had been no consultation, which I suppose, when you think about it, is no surprise. The MTA was not aware that the bill was being brought back to the Assembly the following week. There had been no changes made to the bill since December.

Mr Corbell did absolutely nothing in the period from December to February other than to retrieve the bill from the bottom drawer on 3 February. Again, there had been no consultation and no recognition of the years of work put in by the MTA to get their industry into line. All of these years of work and effort were for naught. So on 3 February, I wrote to Mr Corbell in similar terms to my letter of 1 December. Mr Corbell again withdrew the bill from the program but failed to respond to my letter. He has still not responded.

What followed was what should have happened shortly after 31 August 2009, when the MTA sent its draft legislation to JACS. Meetings of the code committee were held on 15 February and 12 March. A very grumpy and abjectly uncooperative Mr Corbell, from accounts given to me, attended for about an hour of the first meeting, reluctant to listen to the processes that the MTA went through to arrive at the draft legislation it had prepared and sent to JACS in August last year.

The MTA’s summary of that meeting was that it was a very disappointing meeting. The MTA said it did not achieve the wishes of the committee or address the genuine concerns of industry. Nonetheless, Mr Corbell and government officials went away and drafted a range of amendments which Mr Corbell will introduce in the detail stage of the debate today. These amendments were brought back and explained to the code committee’s second meeting, on 12 March. The committee resolved to endorse these amendments.

It is on this basis, and this basis alone, that the Canberra Liberals give in-principle support to the bill today. And we will support the amendments. However, the amendments, whilst welcomed by the MTA, will only work successfully if the


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