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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 07 Hansard (Thursday, 2 August 2018) . . Page.. 2593 ..


That:

(1) the Government Procurement (Secure Local Jobs) Amendment Bill 2018 be referred to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for inquiry and report, pursuant to standing order 174; and

(2) the Standing Committee on Public Accounts report back to the Assembly on this inquiry by no later than 25 October 2018.

I am seeking to refer this bill to a committee. The opposition believes that the public accounts committee is probably the most appropriate committee to examine these changes, given that they relate directly to the procurement act. Some consideration was also given to whether or not the education, employment and youth affairs committee might be the appropriate stopping point for it but, given that it does solely deal with the procurement act, it does sit within the existing purview of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.

There has been considerable discussion and also considerable concern raised about it in many areas of the community, particularly amongst the business community. I know that the Master Builders Association, the HIA and the Canberra Business Chamber, just to name a few, have raised a number of concerns around this legislation, how it fits in with existing commonwealth laws and its application here in the territory.

Likewise I note that Minister Stephen-Smith has indicated to those stakeholders at various points that there will be further consultation on this bill following its presentation. There is a very good mechanism in the Assembly for consultation; that is, a committee inquiry. It is one that is seldom used for legislation. I think this is an appropriate piece of legislation to be referred to the committee.

I am calling on the committee to report by 25 October. I understand that there is a little bit of discussion to be had around exactly what the reporting date will be, and that this motion is likely to be adjourned in a moment. The reason I am choosing the date of 25 October is that we are seeking to be reasonable both to the Assembly and to the government, in having their legislative agenda debated in the Assembly. It is also about giving due time and consideration to the community to have an opportunity to reflect on the legislation, given that no-one has seen it until a couple of moments ago, prepare a submission, take part in the inquiry and then give the committee due time to report back to the Assembly.

I am also bearing in mind that the public accounts committee has an inquiry underway into rates, which was referred by this Assembly. That is due to report in the sitting week in September. Bearing in mind that workload, I think that an extra couple of weeks is reasonable. The date of 25 October is the end of the first sitting week in October. It would then allow the government to bring that bill back on, should they choose to do so, in the second sitting week in October. I will leave my comments there, and I look forward to receiving support.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (10.31): The Greens are very supportive of this bill overall. We think that there are important principles contained in this legislation. We


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