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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 July 2019) . . Page.. 2410 ..


Supplementary answer to question without notice

ACT Health—executive remuneration

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Miss Burch asked a question about executive remuneration which I believe I took on notice. I can advise that since the transition to the two organisations, both Canberra Health Services and the Health Directorate have restructured their executive positions to reflect the needs of the organisations. There have also been other priorities post transition which have required new executive positions that are not related to the transition—for example, the new coordinator-general of the office for mental health and wellbeing and the new executive branch manager for the implementation of the workplace culture review.

Those two positions and the creation of the CHS CEO, which is of course critical to leading the organisations, are the new positions that have been established, two of them completely unrelated to the transition to the new organisation. The annual remuneration cost for these three positions alone is around $840,000, not including staffing on-costs. Some of the other increase relates to the determination of the ACT Remuneration Tribunal for the Head of Service, directors-general and executives across the ACT public service.

Matter of public importance

Statement by Speaker

MADAM SPEAKER: I wish to make a statement about today’s discussion of a matter of public importance. This morning 10 members submitted matters for consideration, including our newest MLA, Mr Gupta. When I conducted the draw required by standing order 79, Mr Gupta’s matter was drawn. Lucky first day, Mr Gupta.

Whilst there was some discussion between the Clerk and me as to whether Mr Gupta could lodge an MPI, no definitive precedent could be found, so I erred on the side of the view that, as Mr Gupta had been declared elected last week, he was eligible to lodge an MPI.

In the course of the morning, the Clerk found a reference in House of Representatives Practice that states:

As the Constitution provides that every Member shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation of allegiance before taking his seat, a Member may not take part in the proceedings of the House …

On one hand it could be interpreted that new MLAs can still lodge an MPI but can only participate in the actual MPI proceeding once they have been sworn in. Another view, which is applied for MLAs who are suspended, is that a new MLA cannot lodge MPIs, petitions or notices of motion.

I took the view this morning that the MPI should still be printed on the daily program, but after having discussions with members this morning, I think the best course of


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