Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 7 Hansard (4 June) . . Page.. 1880 ..
MS DUNDAS (continuing):
This bill is an important step towards open government, and the Democrats are happy to support it.
MR WOOD (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for the Arts) (5.43), in reply: Mr Deputy Speaker, as are a number of other people in this chamber tonight, I am grateful that we have come through to the debating stage of this bill, which has been around for some time. Mrs Cross, I am sorry if I did not give the Liberals enough credit, because it is their bill last year that was the basis for the legislation now being brought forward.
I have to say, though, that the reason it did not come through last year was that it did not have that strong link to the community through the advisory council, yet you want to take it back to your original bill. I am pleased that that will not be supported tonight. I believe that it is important to have that connection. I thank Mr Berry for his efforts last night, with the Society of Archivists, to push the view that it is important to have this link to the community. That is the cause of the major difference over this bill and why, tonight, the Liberals will resist parts of this bill.
The other point of difference relates to the direction to the Director of Public Records. However, that link from the Assembly, through the minister, to the director is important. It is not a heavy dictatorial approach at all. It is a reasonable link to maintain, and it is especially important if that director is a person from outside the bureaucracy.
I will debate these issues more when we get to the stage, Mrs Cross, when you move your amendments. We will certainly be supporting the inclusion of the TOCs. Yes, it was in your original bill, and not in ours, but it is going to be there in the end, and I think that is quite fair and reasonable. Thank you for your support in principle. Let's get through now and finish this bill.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Detail stageClauses 1 to 6, by leave, taken together and agreed to.
MS TUCKER (5.45): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 3 at page 1896].
These comments apply to both of my amendments, because they work together. This amendment removes the exclusion of territory-owned corporations, or subsidiaries of territory-owned corporations, from coverage by this bill. At present, the bill applies to agencies of the government, and agencies are defined in clause 7. Clause 7 (f) of the original Liberal bill referred to "any other prescribed authority", which is subsequently defined by referral to the definition of a prescribed authority in the FOI Act.