Page 363 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 2 March 1994

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   Wednesday, 2 March 1994


MADAM SPEAKER (Ms McRae) took the chair at 10.30 am and read the prayer.


MR STEVENSON (10.31): Madam Speaker, I present the Electors Initiative and Referendum Bill 1994.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

I am introducing a Bill with this new title thanks to the work of the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. The committee was kind enough to go through my Voice of the Electorate Bill in detail and make some suggestions, all of which we have noted in making a number of changes. The new title of the Bill - Electors Initiative and Referendum Bill - is a title that is being used around the country. Let me read the definition of the word "initiative":

The right of a citizen or defined number of citizens, outside the Legislature, to initiate legislation, as in some of the Swiss cantons, and in Switzerland as a Federal Republic 1889.

Later on this morning I will be withdrawing the Voice of the Electorate Bill, which this Bill replaces. This Bill is the same in intent and the description of the Bill will remain the same. Once this legislation is passed, a new law will come into being through an electors Bill that has a title and contains a description of the law the electors Bill seeks to introduce. The electors Bill will be accompanied by any written material in its support and may include a draft of the proposed law, or Bill, coming from the people. Once an electors Bill has been registered, its title may be changed to better reflect the purpose of the proposed new law, but the description of the Bill may not be changed. In this case I have changed the title of my Bill but certainly not the description of the Bill. I thank the members for their time.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.

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