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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 26 September 2019) . . Page.. 3944 ..


The bill will also make the rules about the distance from a polling place within which canvassing is not allowed on election day more consistent. In the ACT, we have canvassing rules that prohibit people from influencing voters by distributing electoral matter within 100 metres of a polling place.

However, where the polling place is on premises which have an enclosure, for example a boundary fence, there is currently scope for the Electoral Commissioner to determine that the area in which canvassing is not allowed is up to 100 metres from the enclosure, rather than from the building where the polling is occurring. The bill makes amendments to remove that discretion from the commissioner, and to measure the 100 metres from the building where the polling is occurring in all cases.

Finally, today’s bill corrects a drafting anomaly to reflect the government’s policy intent to prevent the public disclosure of the address of individuals who provide reportable amounts, including direct payments to prospective or existing non-party candidates and registered parties. The current drafting in the act suggests that only the privacy of individuals who provide gifts is protected.

The bill will provide that the full home address of an individual paying money or gifts to political entities cannot be published in publicly available returns. Rather, only either the suburb or postcode of the individual’s home address or post office box details can be published.

I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Executive business—precedence

Ordered that executive business be called on.

Animal Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill 2019

Debate resumed from 16 May 2019, on motion by Mr Steel:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (10.59): The Greens today will be supporting the Animal Welfare Legislation Amendment Bill. Canberra is a proudly progressive animal-loving jurisdiction. Pets are great companions and enrich the lives of their owners. However, there have been some very disturbing recent reports of animal abuse, of roaming cats threatening the survival of native animals, and of dangerous dog attacks. These have highlighted the importance of responsible pet ownership. A small number of owners are irresponsible, and it is important that there are appropriate disincentives and, in the worst case, penalties for negligent pet owners.

The legislation is part of a package built on the back of community consultation on the draft bill and alongside clear policy documents setting out programs for the education of pet owners and the public in general.


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