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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 3 August 2021) . . Page.. 2233 ..

The Canberra Nature Park is an incredibly important and unique asset which should not in any way be taken for granted. We as a committee consider that the draft plan we considered could be improved upon as a guide for and a test of the management of the Canberra Nature Park. We look forward to the minister’s response to the recommendations we have made in this report.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MS BURCH (Brindabella) (4.05): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure.

On Wednesday, 2 June this year, the Assembly considered a motion relating to a matter that was also the subject of an inquiry before an Assembly committee. The Assembly referred the conventions and practices around the interaction between the Assembly and the operations of Assembly committees to the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure to consider whether standing orders needed to be amended.

At its meetings on 21 June and 15 July this year, the committee considered the issues surrounding the discussion of matters in the Assembly that were being considered by committees. There was some concern that the prohibition on discussing “committee matters” in the Assembly could constrain debate and, conversely, Assembly debate could impact the work of a committee.

Members will recall that in the Ninth Assembly this issue was canvassed in report 13 of this committee in July 2019. That report concluded:

… there is nothing to prevent Members from discussing matters that are the subject of a committee inquiry in the Assembly. The Assembly is free to discuss any matter it chooses (subject to the standing orders and continuing resolutions …

If a member wishes to lodge a notice of motion or a bill that closely relates to a subject matter that is currently under inquiry by an Assembly committee, the Assembly is free to debate the matter if it so chooses. However, if the Assembly does debate such a matter, such debate should not pre-empt the findings or possible recommendations of a committee nor reveal private deliberations of the committee or evidence given in-camera.

Ultimately it will be the Assembly that determines whether it is the Assembly or an Assembly committee where a matter should be progressed.

The committee in this Assembly remains of the same view. I hope that provides guidance for us for the rest of this term.

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