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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 March 2011) . . Page.. 471 ..


the Greens talking about consulting with the people. There is a fabulous opportunity in the lead-up to the centenary of Canberra to get this right. Let us not jeopardise it by just addressing one section of the act today.

The third paragraph calls on the standing committee to recommend against the adoption of the disallowance amendment bill currently before it and instead recommend a comprehensive review of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 to give proper autonomy to the ACT Legislative Assembly, having regard to detailed community consultation. There is only one party in this place today standing up for ensuring that this Assembly gets proper autonomy, and that, of course, is the Canberra Liberals. (Time expired.)

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (11.42): In light of the considerable heat that has been generated in this debate today, I think it is worth stepping back and actually considering what Senator Brown’s proposed amendment does.

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Members of the opposition, please be quiet. Mr Rattenbury, you have the floor.

MR RATTENBURY: The amendment in Senator Brown’s bill is a simple one: it seeks to move us from veto to vote. It is really very simple because at the moment the federal parliament has the ability—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR RATTENBURY: I am not sure why the members of the opposition have started interjecting right from the beginning of my speech, but I am sure they will continue to do it. What Senator Brown’s bill seeks to do is simply to remove that ability of a minister to go to the Governor-General to seek a disallowance of an ACT act without any consultation—remember that: without any consultation—without any parliamentary debates and without any potential for a public discourse on it.

What it simply does is remove that right of ministers to do that and instead says that there must be a debate in the federal parliament. It is actually very simple. What it does is bring some transparency to the process. It says that the commonwealth may still seek to strike down an ACT law—and we can have a debate about the merits or otherwise of that—but that that must be conducted by an act of parliament. It requires a federal member of parliament to move a bill overriding an ACT law. At least then there is some transparency about what is happening. It is not a minister or the Executive Council scurrying off to the Governor-General and saying, “My personal whim says I don’t want this law in the ACT.”

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MR RATTENBURY: Mr Hanson, you are special.

Opposition members interjecting—


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