Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 435 ..
Health and Community Wellbeing—Standing Committee—Inquiry—Programs for drug harm reduction—Terms of reference, dated 9 February 2021.
The committee will now invite submissions to the inquiry and will announce a hearing program in the near future. The committee will present its report to the Assembly by the end of 2021.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella—Manager of Government Business, Minister for Corrections, Minister for Industrial Relations and Workplace Safety, Minister for Planning and Land Management and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.16): I move:
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Order of the day No 1, Executive business, being the Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2021, called on and debated forthwith.
As I reported to the Assembly yesterday, the Planning and Development Amendment Bill implements a clear tripartisan commitment made ahead of last October’s election. The clear advice to the government from officials is that this bill needs to be made law to prevent new waste facilities from opening in Fyshwick.
Due to the legal risks, the government was not able to undertake public consultation on the bill. The risks also made it difficult to advise the Assembly of the bill ahead of its formal introduction. These risks include there being a development application for a new waste facility in Fyshwick before the independent planning and land authority. In the absence of the changes that this bill proposes, the authority is bound to process this application according to the existing Planning and Development Act 2007. This could result in the approval of the development prior to the next sitting of the Assembly on 30 March. Further, there is a risk that the introduction of this bill may trigger proponents to seek other means of having the development approved, perhaps through the courts.
This is a “wickedly simple bill”, as Mr Parton has remarked to my office. For this reason and because of the risks posed should the bill not be considered today, we should suspend standing orders to enable the bill to come on. Madam Speaker, the community has made its views about waste facilities in Fyshwick very clear, as have businesses. We have listened and we want to act. Therefore, we need to suspend standing orders.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (10.18): The opposition will not be opposing this motion. However, I want to comment on the record to make sure that it is very clear that this should not be established as a precedent. It is not good form; it is not good process. It is not good for democracy if we table and debate bills in the same sitting. This is referred to in standing order 172 in terms of urgency.
Based on briefings that the opposition has received, it seems that we have got ourselves into a position where it may be necessary to debate this bill in the same