Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (20 February) . . Page.. 348 ..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
It is important legislation. It has been sitting on the table since November. As the Attorney said in his speech, there was extensive consultation with all relevant agencies in developing the legislation. I am very disappointed that we did not pass the bill today. There are some serious gaps in this area, as witnessed by events last year which led to the DPP recovering only $40,000 of $550,000.
I make these points in relation to the bill because there were factors which I think could have enabled Ms Tucker to satisfy some of her concerns. In our committee we also had fairly detailed discussions with our adviser on various aspects of the law, which I think was helpful in understanding this bill.
Gungahlin Town Centre
MS DUNDAS (5.08): Mr Speaker, I would like to put on the record my reasons for supporting Mr Smyth's unsuccessful motion to suspend standing orders. I do not wish to reflect on the vote, but if I do stray will you please let me know?
MR SPEAKER: Rest assured.
MS DUNDAS: I was happy to support the suspension of standing orders to have the debate on the difference between calls and directs and on the role of the Assembly. I supported the suspension of standing orders because I believed that the debate Mr Smyth's motion referred to was time critical. It related to a core process issue that I think needs to be resolved before it gets further out of hand.
I admit that we have had a couple of hard months. The ACT has faced a crisis. The government responded well in the early days of that crisis. But as time has progressed and the city looks to rebuild more and more, this Assembly is being ignored by this government. I find that quite disturbing.
Mr Wood: We have been sitting for three days. We have done a lot in three days.
MS DUNDAS: We do more than just sit in this chamber, Mr Wood, and you know that. It is important that this place debate how this Assembly sees itself and how the government sees this Assembly, so that we can resolve these issues, hopefully satisfactorily, and move forward. We are all community leaders, we all represent the people of the ACT, and we all have significant roles to play. Hence I think the need for the debate sought by Mr Smyth's motion was quite critical.
I hope that we have future discussions on the role of the Assembly and that this matter is resolved quickly so that blatant disregard for this Assembly does not continue and the community does not continue to be frustrated in trying to participate and provide input into how the future of this city is directed.