Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 363 ..
of the Opposition, the Assembly and the community are aware in close to real time of any action and the reason for it.
Clearly the government will be making large public announcements about the use of the powers that are contained within the legislation in any event, as has been the case over the last 11 months.
I thank the Attorney-General and his directorate for the work in preparing this legislation. I would also like to thank the Minister for Corrections, the Minister for Health, the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs, the Minister for Gaming, the Minister for Consumer Affairs and the Minister for Families and Community Services, and their respective directorates, for their contributions to this bill. I commend it to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.
MS LEE (Kurrajong-Leader of the Opposition) (11.10), by leave: I move amendments Nos 1 to 3 circulated in my name together [see schedule 1 at page 428]. I understand my amendments will not be getting the support from the Labor and Greens, which is disappointing to say the least. The Chief Minister has said that one of the reasons he will not be supporting the amendments is that the bill reduces red tape and that the amendments would be a waste of public servants’ time. We only have his word on that. We are asking on behalf of the Canberra community for some transparency.
We know that these are extraordinary times; the Chief Minister has admitted that these are extraordinary times. He has said himself that the pandemic is ongoing. He cannot have it both ways—on the one hand say, “Hey, the pandemic is still going; I’m going to get all my political mileage out of this,” and on the other hand say, “No, it’s not important to give transparency and ongoing accountability and scrutiny to the Canberra public.” This smacks of hypocrisy.
What the Chief Minister must remember is that it is not just the Canberra Liberals who saw a problem with this. Let me quote from the scrutiny of bills committee’s comments on this bill:
Given the significant potential rights impacts that many of these measures may have, the committee is concerned over the decreased frequency of reporting.
That is a direct quote from the Assembly’s scrutiny of bills committee, and we have both spoken about the concerns raised by the Standing Committee on Economy and Gender and Economic Equality. These are not just concerns raised by the Canberra Liberals that the Chief Minister should just be throwing off. It is about seeking