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

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3863 ..

MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

about whether the Ambulance Service ought to be a stand-alone service or whether it should be included in the Emergency Management Bill. I disagree with what the Minister has said about the Ambulance Service being incorporated in the Emergency Management Bill.

However, there is nothing at all in the Government's response about the levy. There is at least a sentence about it in the report which says there is no logic to it. What more can you say, except that there is no logic. No logic for it being in there was advanced during the public hearings.

The Minister said, "Where would you put it if you did not have it here?". We would suggest that the Ambulance Service Levy Act 1990 remain as is - no change. It would still function in exactly the same way it has to date. It is already there. There is no need to repeal it as clause 80 of this Bill seeks to do. Clause 80 reads:

The Ambulance Service Levy Act 1990 and the Ambulance Service Levy (Amendment) Act 1992 are repealed.

We already have legislation in place. We are already collecting this levy. We are already applying it, if what the Minister says is right. Why therefore do we need to have it in this Bill? There is no need for it. It is inconsistent. The Minister trotted out four or five pieces of similar legislation. Why did he not do that when the committee put its report down? Why did he not do that in the Government's response to the committee?

The Opposition would like to achieve recognition that this is a piece of money legislation. The Emergency Management Bill addresses preparedness to respond to a declared emergency. We want to keep the two separate. We do not want to have to keep coming back and tackling the Emergency Management Act if we do not have to. I would urge the crossbenches to think about the logic of having a money Bill stuck in the middle of the Emergency Management Bill. We are not saying, "Let us repeal it. Let us get rid of it". We are saying that legislation already in force is working. If it ain't broke, why change it?

MR OSBORNE (4.11): I must admit to being somewhat confused about what Mr Hargreaves is attempting to achieve here. I do not have a copy of the report in front of me, but my recollection is that the committee generally agreed that what Mr Hargreaves was proposing was a good idea. I stand to be corrected by the members of the committee, but my understanding is that we had not gone to the lengths of actually proposing amendments or a new piece of legislation.

I am unsure whether supporting this amendment is the right thing to do. Perhaps Mr Kaine could come to my assistance on this issue. I do recall that all of us on the committee felt that the ambulance levy was - - -

Mr Hargreaves: Look at page 18.

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