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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1611 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

motion, we will lose the chance to be able to deal with that. Mr Berry suggests that we could deal with this legislation this afternoon. True enough. But it is not the only piece of legislation which is of some importance on our agenda at the moment.

Mr Speaker, I want to draw the attention of members to a matter which is to be introduced should this motion fail in a few short minutes, namely, the Financial Sector Reform (ACT) Bill 1999. Mr Speaker, that Bill addresses the ACT's role in transferring the Financial Institutions Scheme of Australia to the Commonwealth under an agreement which has been entered into by every Australian State and Territory with the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth plans to commence that scheme on 1 July 1999 and, Mr Speaker, I understand that every jurisdiction in Australia other than the ACT has now put its legislation in place as the trigger for the Commonwealth action to commence the scheme on 1 July 1999.

But it is a national scheme. The scheme will not work unless every jurisdiction is part of it. It simply will not work; it will fail. A major national reform will fail unless this Assembly passes that legislation in time for that commencement. I doubt, Mr Speaker, whether passing something at half-past 11 next Wednesday night, which might be our best option if we were to follow Mr Stanhope's proposed course of action, is going to fit that timetable. In fact, it certainly is not going to fit that timetable.

Mr Speaker, this Bill has been circulated out of session as an exposure draft to all MLAs. Obviously, we would like to have had more time to consider the Bill, but the fact is that it was finalised only a few days ago by the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel, I understand, and other parliaments have moved quickly to implement the legislation in their jurisdictions. We happen to be the last one to be in a position to do so. Mr Speaker, not only is it important that we consider this Bill, not only is it the view of this Government that we should consider this Bill now, but also it seems to be the view of the Opposition in this place that we should consider this Bill.

Mr Speaker, I was contacted today by the Australian Banking Association, which informed me that it had been assured by Mr Quinlan that the ACT Opposition understands the importance of this reform being passed through the parliament by the deadline of - - -

Mr Quinlan: Also understand that you should have put it through a lot earlier, Gary; then we would not be having these problems.

MR HUMPHRIES: You should understand that it was not available to put through before the six-week adjournment that we have just had, Mr Quinlan. It was not available to put through before this point. We have not got - - -

Mr Quinlan: Why are we last?

MR HUMPHRIES: Because we have had a six-week adjournment, Mr Quinlan. You supported a six-week adjournment of this place so that the Estimates Committee could meet without being interrupted by sittings of the Assembly. That is why we are the last cab off the rank. The other parliaments have been sitting, but we have not been sitting. Therefore, we have had to bring this Bill forward at the first available opportunity, as I understand it, which is today and the Bill is now there. It is listed as the first Bill to be

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