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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 7 Hansard (21 June) . . Page.. 2293 ..


That order of the day No 2, Assembly business, relating to the proposed referral of the Cooperatives exposure draft legislation, together with the explanatory memorandum, to the Standing Committee for the Chief Minister's Portfolio for inquiry and report by 21 October 1999, be discharged from the Notice Paper.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Justice and Community Safety-Standing Committee

Report No 4

Debate resumed from 21 October 1999, on motion by Mr Osborne:

That the report be noted.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Executive members business-precedence

Motion (by Mr Moore, by leave) agreed to:

That executive members business be called on.

Executive Documents Release Bill 2000

Debate resumed from 9 March 2000, on motion by Mr Moore:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (11.02): Mr Speaker, the Executive Documents Release Bill is a very significant piece of legislation which significantly alters the basis on which cabinet documents are released after the period in which they are made. Members are aware that there are a variety of regimes around Australia providing for the release of cabinet documents at some point after they are relevant; that is, at the time in which they are before the cabinet. In the case of the Commonwealth the rule is that cabinet documents are released 30 years after they are relevantly before the cabinet.

Mr Moore's bill provides for significant changes in the regime that applies in the ACT. By default, as much as for any other reason, the ACT has acquired or adopted the provisions that apply in the Commonwealth for the release of cabinet documents. I suspect that there has never been any expressed decision about it and there is probably no provision anywhere expressly for the release of cabinet documents in the ACT. Of course, the ACT became a polity in its own right only a little over 12 years ago, and the capacity therefore to make decisions has not really arisen until this time. For that reason the government believes it is timely to examine this issue and ensure that there is a clear policy on when cabinet documents can be released.

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