Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 13 Hansard (20 November) . . Page.. 3854 ..
MRS DUNNE (continuing):
a submission and have an input to how the legislation should be reviewed, but it is not really appropriate for an organisation that has been so closely enmeshed with this legislation to be independent enough to undertake an effective review.
I would suggest to members-I am not quite sure how the standing orders would apply in this regard, so bear with me, Mr Deputy Speaker; I am sure you will advise me how to do it-that we should insert the words "by an independent body" in Mr Corbell's amendment after the word "review". I would be happy to do that, because it seems quite obvious that paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of my original motion will fail. If members take the time to read paragraph 4, they will see that I have not suggested that the Law Reform Commission is the definitive body to do this review, but rather it is a suggestion of the sort of body that might do so. It is perhaps unfair for the minister to say that the Law Reform Commission has no expertise in planning law. I think he should look at the composition of the Law Reform Commission before he says that. The important aspect about having an organisation such as the Law Reform Commission is that they are concerned with the effective drafting of law and how it should be reformed in the ACT, rather than being necessarily subject matter experts. I would suggest that this would be a better way forward.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: I need it in writing, Mrs Dunne, and it should be prepared right now.
MRS DUNNE: I move the following amendment to Mr Corbell's proposed amendment:
Insert the words "by an independent body" after "review".
I think that it is quite obvious that for whatever reasons, some of which are understandable and some of which are not from my point of view, paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 of my motion will fail.
I commend to the Assembly my amendment to Mr Corbell's amendment.
MR CORBELL (Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations) (5.05): Mr Deputy Speaker, the government will not be supporting Mrs Dunne's amendment. As I have already pointed out, the question of who should conduct the review of the land act is an interesting one, but the government's position is that it is possible for the authority itself to determine the use of an independent contractor to assist it in conducting the review.
I am somewhat perplexed, because the whole point of the Planning and Land Bill is to establish a statutory independent authority. I would challenge members to mount the argument as to why there needs to be an independent review. There are mechanisms built in to many pieces of legislation for statutory review after a particular period. For example, the Environment Protection Act has such a function and it is proposed that the Planning and Land Bill itself will have a statutory requirement for review after a fixed period. I can think of no other piece of legislation which has a formal statutory review mechanism where it is proposed that there be a requirement that that review be undertaken by an independent body.