Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (15 May) . . Page.. 1241 ..
MR MOORE (continuing):
possible method, so that community members can feel that we are not finding a back way to growing cannabis for drugs. It is certainly introduced not with that intention, but with the intention that we can provide a method with the least possible red tape, to ensure that people in the ACT have another choice in terms of the crop that they might grow and an industry that might be leading the country as soon as possible.
Debate (on motion by Mr Humphries) adjourned.
MS FOLLETT (10.45): I present the Statutory Appointments (Amendment) Bill 1996.
Title read by Clerk.
MS FOLLETT: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
The Statutory Appointments Bill was passed by this Assembly in 1994 in order to oblige the government of the day to consult appropriately with this Assembly, through its committees, on appointments to statutory offices which the government wished to make. The amendment to the Act that I am moving by this amendment Bill is to put that requirement to consult into a framework which I believe will be much more workable for the committees involved. What I am proposing is that the Government must allow those committees sufficient time and an appropriate amount of time for consultation to actually take place. I have proposed that the consultation period should be 30 days. If the consultation does not require 30 days and the committee is able to make a recommendation before that time has expired, then the Minister is able to proceed with the recommendations.
I am moving this amendment Bill because of some fairly unfortunate experiences which I have had in terms of having been consulted by the Government on a range of appointments. I think it is appropriate, given that the Assembly has passed this legislation, that we do make every effort to make sure that it is honoured, as was obviously the wish of the Assembly at the time. Let me just go through a couple of the areas where I think the Government has been less than scrupulous, shall we say, in its attitude towards consultation on these matters. I think probably the most important appointments where the Government has fallen down on consultation related to the appointments by Mrs Carnell to the ACT Remuneration Tribunal. In fact, Mrs Carnell had announced those appointments, if not made them, quite some time before she went to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts by way of consultation. I think that was very regrettable, because it was a matter which concerned all members of this Assembly and on which the PAC had every right to be consulted fully and, I would have said, in confidence so that the committee could express a view. Consultation is not a one-way street; you do not just send people your decision and say, "Well, what do you think? Like it or lump it". If you are genuine about consultation you do expect some feedback from the people whom you are consulting. That did not occur on this occasion because, as I say, the appointments had already been announced.