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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (30 August) . . Page.. 3791 ..

Duties Act 1999-Exemption guidelines for corporate reconstructions-Instrument No 246 of 2001 (S61, 23 August 2001)

Duties Act 1999-Exemption guidelines for certain voluntary transfers made under the Financial Sector (Transfers of Business) Act 1999 (Cwlth)- Instrument No 247 of 2001 (S61, 23 August 2001)

Duties Act 1999-Determination for liability for payment of duty by Territory authorities or agents of the Duties Act 1999-Exemption guidelines for corporate reconstructions-Instrument No 246 of 2001 (S61, 23 August 2001)

Taxation Administration Act 1999-Determination of rates of duty for the purposes of the Duties Act 1999-Instrument No 245 of 2001 (S61, 23 August 2001)

Utilities Act 2000-Utility Networks (Public Safety) Regulations 2001-Instrument No 28 of 2001 (No 34, 23 August 2001)

Good government in the ACT

Debate resumed.

MR KAINE (4.15): This is a subject that I do not want to spend a lot of time on. I find it rather curious that on the last sitting day in the life of an Assembly we have such a motion put before us. I have to ask what its purpose is. It does not place an obligation on any future government. It does not identify any deficiencies in government. So I wonder whether it serves any other purpose than for one or two people to make themselves feel warm and cosy by giving us a lecture on what good government is, in their perception.

If we are going to affirm a commitment to good government, it might have been better to define what good government is. Whose perception of good government do we take on board as the benchmark? Government does not depend only on what happens in this place. It is basic politics. There are three elements of government: the legislature, the executive and the administration. We are only one part of that.

I am not too sure, in retrospect, that over the last 31/2 years in the life of this Fourth Assembly even this place has produced good government. Some of the debate here has been mediocre. Some of it, in my view, has been self-serving on the part of people who introduced it. We have probably passed far more law than we ought to be passing, when you bear in mind that every time we pass a piece of legislation its net effect is to constrain what people can do-not broaden what people can do, but make life more difficult.

When you come into the Assembly on the last sitting day, you see an agenda for government business like the one we have before us-on which all items are urgent and have to be done before we close for business tonight-and you look at the substance in those bills, you wonder what contribution these things are making to the quality of life of the people in Canberra to whom we're responsible.

That said, I suppose by and large this Assembly has done what it was elected to do and what it was paid to do. But I think it is in the areas of the administration and the executive that one might question just how far we have gone with any commitment to good government.

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