Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 22 September 2011) . . Page.. 4301 ..
could have continued to work on it for some time as well, but the committee is mindful that it has been before us for a long time.
We had aimed to get this report to the Assembly in August but time got away from us because members had a range of other commitments. Ms Hunter had some time at the CPA conference and there was a period when, over the July break, when I think all of us took some leave or other, which is a sensible thing to do at that time.
Mr Barr: Half your luck; a bit of jet-setting?
MRS DUNNE: Some of us did, yes. Some of us only went as far as Brisbane, yes, to conferences.
MADAM ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Ms Le Couteur): Members of the government, please be quiet.
MRS DUNNE: There were some issues that came and went in the inquiry. And we did, very early in the piece, have a discussion about whether donations should be limited to natural persons. I think that Mr Hargreaves and I put forward arguments why that may not be such a great idea. And as we were putting the finishing touches to the report, Mr O’Farrell introduced legislation in the last couple of weeks. I was driving home, listening to that, thinking, “I hope Ms Hunter doesn’t hear this because it means we will have to go back and revisit these arguments.” There has been a lot of goodhearted banter about the Barry O’Farrell-Meredith Hunter unity ticket, an unlikely unity ticket, but Ms Hunter did not seem to resile from that.
I think that this has been a good process, but I want to re-emphasise recommendation 21. Recommendation 21 is that this is operational by the 2012 election. That puts a lot of pressure on all members of this Assembly to get their act together. The Canberra Liberals will work cooperatively with all members of the Legislative Assembly to ensure that the major recommendations are operational for the 2012 election.
I commend this report to the Assembly. If we go down the path recommended by the committee, the Legislative Assembly will be doing good work on behalf of the people of the ACT in creating transparency and openness in our electoral system, which will nicely complement the great electoral voting system and counting system that we have in the ACT. And it will require a fair amount of give and take by all parties, both in the negotiation and in moving forward in a new environment with capped donations and capped expenditure. But I think that the outcome will be that the people of the ACT will be better off in the long run.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Health, Community and Social Services—Standing Committee
Statement by chair
MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella): Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Health, Community and Social