Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 11 Hansard (8 December) . . Page.. 3285 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
Mr Corbell is doing in saying that two months would be adequate for that from the end of June, or three months from the beginning of June. I believe that this will be an issue in which the community will want to have a large amount of participation. I believe that we need to leave the way clear to allow the committee to gather as much information as it would require, should it get to the committee.
In leaving it for the 12 months rather than coming back and perhaps extending Mr Corbell's amendment, were it necessary, Mr Deputy Speaker, what we should do is extend it for the 12-month period. That it could be finished well within that time is quite likely. I will certainly have a very personal interest in ensuring that there is nothing tardy in the progress of this in the future. There has been a delay for a variety of reasons. When I became the Minister, I had to get across the portfolio, find out what was going on and get up to speed. We then had discussions on the terms of reference and we tried to find time that Professor Nicholls could do the inquiry. A combination of factors has led to its starting much later than I would have hoped, but that is the way that it has turned out.
I would now simply ask that the Assembly say that yes, it is an important issue and it needs to be discussed in a reasonable timeframe. The way to do that initially is to allow the Government a 12-month extension of the sunset clause and work very quickly in that next year to ensure that we have adequate consultation on this. Across the consultation period we will have a budget and the estimates committees and members will be taking time off during the winter recess. I just do not want it to be pushed up against a timetable that I think may end up being too short. It may not necessarily end up being too short, but by leaving it open-ended to the end of December we do have that time to have those discussions. Mr Deputy Speaker, I commend the Bill to the house.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Bill, by leave, taken as a whole
MR CORBELL (9.05): Mr Deputy Speaker, I seek leave to move amendments Nos 1 to 4 together.
MR CORBELL: I move:
Page 2, line 4, clause 4, paragraph (a), omit "On 25 December 1999", substitute "On 31 August 1999".
Page 2, line 7, clause 4, paragraph (b), omit "25 December 1999", substitute "31 August 1999".