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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 8 December 2010) . . Page.. 5892 ..


calling on a broad public consultation and a forum to discuss changes to the self-government act, I believe that is quite appropriate. She calls on the government to investigate the timing and provision of a public consultation forum, and we are quite relaxed about and accepting of that. That is more than reasonable. She does also, however, propose to change quite significantly the import and effect of the motion Ms Porter moved by removing the whole of the motion and replacing it with a sentiment that actually goes to the ambiguity of the constitutional arrangements that apply in the territory. I believe that undermines completely the notion that Ms Porter put around what should be unalienable democratic rights.

The amendment goes to the ambiguity inherent in our national constitution in relation to the plenary powers of the commonwealth and the power inherent in that plenary power to overturn all ACT legislation which denies the effect and the implications of self-government and of our demographic rights. I move my amendment to Mrs Dunne’s amendment:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

“(1) supports the notion that the people and the Parliament of the ACT should have the same rights as Australians living in the States to legislate on their own behalf upon matters within their legislative jurisdiction;

(2) supports a comprehensive review of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988-, with a view to:

(a) allowing the ACT Legislative Assembly to determine its own size;

(b) removing provisions that allow the Commonwealth to overturn any ACT law through the exercise of Executive fiat;

(c) making other such amendments necessary to deliver genuine self-government to the people of the ACT, consistent with the democratic rights enjoyed by Australians living in the States; and

(d) the formation of a broad public consultation forum to discuss and debate changes requested to the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 as raised by the Assembly, the community and other stakeholders and develop a formalised agreed position to present to the Federal Parliament; and

(3) calls on the Government to investigate the timing and provision of a public forum on these reforms and report to the Assembly with options.”.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (10.13): The Greens will not be supporting Mrs Dunne’s amendment. The problems with them are many and varied. It is particularly disappointing that the Liberals reject the notion that we should have the same rights as state parliaments. It begs the question whether the Canberra Liberals should be called the no self-government party. Evident in the amendment is that the Canberra Liberals do not really think much of Canberra at all. In fact, they think less of this parliament than they do of every other state parliament in Australia. The obvious question is: why? Every Canberran should ask the Liberal


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