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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (31 August) . . Page.. 2642 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

I think, generally speaking, that three weeks is more than enough time to assess whether a document or an instrument of some kind is to be disallowed or it is not. The proposal Mr Stanhope puts, in effect, is to reduce the 15 sitting days to 12 sitting days. That slices one week off a five-week period. That really is not very significant. If that is all we achieve today if Mr Stanhope's amendments are approved, it is not really worth the effort of having debated this for 20 minutes or whatever it is. One sitting a week out of five is not particularly substantial.

I would urge members to consider this in a more positive light. This was debated in the context of a Bill by Mr Kaine, I think, to amend the provisions dealing with the granting of a lease. It was about the Canberra Casino. I forget the particular provision that he moved, but I think it was to make disallowable an instrument that would permit the granting of a lease in those circumstances, and Mr Kaine made the comment in the course of that debate that 15 sitting days is too long. I think Ms Tucker also made comment in the course of that debate and suggested that there may be a case, although not quite so clearly, for reducing the period of disallowance from 15 days to something less.

My case, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, simply is that a reduction from 15 to 12 days is not really much of a change. The early amendments do not make any substantial difference, and I would urge members to give us the chance to be able to deal with the matter in a realistic way. Six sitting days would be, in almost every case, more than enough time to be able to deal with the questions given rise to. That is, as I have said, a minimum of a period stretching over three sitting weeks. I think it is worth making that change.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail Stage

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) 4.56): Thank you, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker.

Mr Humphries: Would you move your first two amendments together?

MR STANHOPE: Yes. Would you just clarify that?

Mr Humphries: I will support the first two amendments.

MR STANHOPE: Do you mean that, though? I am a bit confused.

Mr Humphries: We are supporting the reduction.

MR STANHOPE: Isn't that only paragraph 1(aa), though, Gary?

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