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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 7 December 2010) . . Page.. 5867 ..


In relation to the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill, I have been given no advice—

Mr Corbell: On a point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker, the question before the chair is that standing orders be suspended. This is not a debate about the detail of the bill or what representations Mrs Dunne has made to me about the bill; it is about the suspension of standing orders. Given the highly unusual and irregular procedure that Mrs Dunne is seeking to adopt, I think it is very important that she constrain her comments to the question before the chair.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Mrs Dunne, I think you are starting to stray a little. Could I bring you back, please, to the question at hand.

MRS DUNNE: Happy to do so, but in addressing why we need to—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: No, sorry, Mrs Dunne, there is no “happy to do so, but”. There is no “but”. It is a but-free city. Please bring yourself back to the question.

MRS DUNNE: I am happy to do so.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: I am pleased to hear it.

MRS DUNNE: In addressing the question of why standing orders should be suspended on this occasion, it is important to note the lack of communication between the government and the opposition on these bills. The reason that we need to air and discuss why these bills should be adjourned is the lack of time that members in this place have to communicate with their electorates on these issues and ensure that, for the sake of our electors, we have appropriate legislation.

It is the case that the government is trying to force through a whole tranche of legislation at the last minute. We are doing this because the government has been lazy. The attorney, in particular, has been lazy and has left it until the last minute to do a whole range of things. For instance, I have been told that the reason that we need to pass the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill is that there are some pressing security industry reforms which relate to a COAG agreement. It is particularly important, I was told by the minister’s senior adviser, as the ACT is delayed in implementing the reforms in comparison to other jurisdictions. Goodness gracious me, Mr Corbell is embarrassed.

It is interesting that when I sought advice on these security industry reforms from both the department and the Office of Regulatory Services, I was told essentially that these were not pressing, that these were the reinforcement of existing provisions for the most part. I still cannot see why these matters need to be brought forward in such a short form. It is only 2½ weeks since these matters were introduced into the Assembly.

The minister has been quite cavalier in his approach. He said to me in the government business meeting that essentially his job was to get nine votes on the floor of the Assembly, and if he could get nine votes on the floor of the Assembly nothing else


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