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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2021) . . Page.. 289 ..

The committee acknowledges that, due to the urgency of action needed to respond to exceptional or emergency circumstances, such as in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, executive action and emergency measures do not undergo the same level of scrutiny or stages of approval that would be the default outside of such circumstances. Notwithstanding that, this does not imply, or should not give rise to emergency measures that are without limits or conditions. The committee is of the view that the measures the bill seeks to either extend, repeal, and/or revise, together with consultation processes used in the drafting stage, broadly comply with the UK Hansard Society’s principles to guide parliaments response to the pandemic.

The committee has made four recommendations in relation to its inquiry. The committee considers that exceptional or emergency circumstances support extraordinary scrutiny and has made three recommendations that align with this concept. These recommendations are focused on reporting arrangements to the Assembly on emergency response measures. The committee has also made a recommendation to the Assembly regarding the time frames specified in reporting on inquiries undertaken by Assembly committees into referred bills.

In concluding, the committee acknowledges the extraordinary efforts that have been undertaken by the ACT public service and its employees to manage the risks for the ACT community at the time the COVID-19 crisis was unfolding in March 2020, throughout 2020 and now into 2021. The committee further acknowledges that these efforts have managed the health response, worked to keep the ACT community safe, provided economic support to businesses and individuals under considerable stress, and supported operational areas to provide services during the pandemic. The committee also recognises the cooperation, work and contribution from the federal government, the private sector, non-government organisations, the ACT community and countless other organisations and individuals that have been instrumental in the efforts and initiatives to support the health, economic and social challenges faced by our community during this unprecedented time.

As chair, I also want to thank my fellow committee members, Ms Suzanne Orr and Mr Johnathan Davis for their contributions, and offer our thanks to the secretary, Dr Andréa Cullen, for her exemplary work, as usual. I commend the report to the Assembly. My committee colleagues may also wish to comment.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Statement by chair

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (10.44): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality relating to statutory appointments in accordance with continuing resolution 5A. Continuing resolution 5A was agreed by the Legislative Assembly on 23 August 2012. The schedule is required to include the statutory appointments considered and, for each appointment, the date the request from the responsible minister for consultation was received and the date the committee’s feedback was provided.

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