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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2692 ..


Chief Justice Gleeson in Roach v Electoral Commissioner, in discussing the factors to be evaluated to determine what is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society, said:

This qualification requires both a rational connection between a constitutionally valid objective and the limitation in question, and also minimum impairment to the guaranteed right.

There can be no doubt that the ACT has the jurisdiction to pass this law in accordance with the self-government act and therefore no interference will occur unlawfully. Further, the public interest objectives set out earlier provide a sufficient connection to the outcome being achieved to satisfy this test. The question as to whether or not any interference is arbitrary or goes beyond the minimum impairment required is also satisfied.

“Arbitrary” can be defined as capricious, uncertain or unreasonable. Having looked at the nature and scope of other disclosure laws and the particulars that will be required to be disclosed in this case, as set out in paragraph Aus25.4 of AASB 124, the relevant accounting standard that will be applied, it is fair to say that what is being required to be disclosed is directly related to the duties being performed by these officials and is limited to their professional roles, for which they are being paid public money for their services, and is therefore the minimum impairment to the guaranteed right. Further, having turned my mind to the question, I can see no alternative way in which this particular objective would be achieved.

Mr Speaker, the Greens support this bill and we look forward to reading some very comprehensive annual reports over the coming months.

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (12.04), in reply: I am not sure they are going to be any more comprehensive, apart from the salary indication, but that is the subject of this bill.

I thank members for their support for this bill and I acknowledge that the Liberals take some credit for it, the Greens take some credit for it and we will take some credit for it. So it is truly a piece of legislation that has had its origins in everybody’s camp, which is quite unusual for this place. Members of this Assembly have been calling for the increased disclosure of executive remuneration of territory-owned corporations, and this bill is intended to achieve that purpose, as there is currently no existing requirement for territory-owned corporations to disclose remuneration details of individual key management personnel.

This legislative change is necessary so as to overcome the Privacy Act 1988. As it currently stands, the remuneration for an executive of a territory-owned corporation cannot be publicly disclosed without the prior consent of the person involved. The current disclosure regime is in line with the relevant accounting standards and is limited to providing remuneration details in aggregate. As such, it does only provide a minimum level of transparency.


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