Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3796 ..

MR OSBORNE (continuing):

As a final comment, I would remind members that the legal adviser to the committee is an impartial expert who, in doing his job, has spotted some major problems with both the structure and application of this legislation. I suggest that members who intend to support this Bill take his comments seriously and take time to address the Bill's shortcomings before it passes into law.

Mr Speaker, I fully expect this piece of legislation to pass, but I do hope that Mr Stanhope and the Labor Party will agree with me that, if it is going to happen, it will be done properly and that the problems highlighted by the legal adviser will be sorted out.

Turning to another issue, Mr Speaker: As chair of the committee I feel it important to highlight the committee's concerns with government responses, in general, to our reports. It has become patently clear that this Government has little regard for the scrutiny of Bills process and the role that we play. I could stand here and go over many times where issues have been raised by our legal adviser, supported by the committee, yet it appears, time after time, in government responses or in legislation that comes up afterwards, that the Government is just not listening. Mr Speaker, I think it would be fair to say that the scrutiny of Bills process and its reports are given great weight in all jurisdictions, but I have to say that we on the committee, including the government member, are somewhat frustrated with the way this Government, in particular, has treated our reports and legal advice on pieces of legislation.

I thank members for their time and I commend the report to the Assembly.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care): Mr Speaker, I seek leave to make a statement on the report that has just been tabled, for a brief time.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and thank you, members. Mr Speaker, I would encourage members and I would encourage members of the media to read what the legal adviser has provided for the committee rather than take the interpretation that Mr Osborne has put as the issues that arise, particularly on the supervised injecting trial. Let me start by saying that Mr Osborne finished his comments with the notion that government members ignore the scrutiny of Bills committee. That is the furthest thing from the truth. We take it extremely seriously, and we will take the comments on the Supervised Injecting Place Trial Bill extremely seriously, as we do in every other case. Mr Osborne would know that whenever there is a comment made on any of my pieces of legislation I write to him and tell him the response that we have given to them, whether on subordinate pieces of legislation or substantive Bills.

Mr Speaker, the Government does take this committee very seriously, but this committee is to provide advice, not direction, to the Assembly. We have to take that advice and consider it very seriously, and sometimes we take a different perspective.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .