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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 5 Hansard (7 May) . . Page.. 1609 ..

the Long Service Leave (Private Sector) Bill 2003 be referred to the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs for inquiry and report by 23 September 2003; and

on the Committee presenting its report to the Assembly resumption of debate on the question "That this Bill be agreed to in principle"be set down as an order of the day for the next sitting.

MR STEFANIAK (10.55): I want to put on the record that, whilst that may or may not be acceptable, Ms Gallagher has not actually asked me and no-one else has asked me as chair for my opinion in terms of the referral of the bill to the committee. At this stage, I would just like to know about the referral. Perhaps she could bring that motion forward tomorrow or later today and we can deal with it then.

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning) (10.56): It is for this Assembly to decide whether a bill should be referred to the relevant standing committee. Nevertheless, there are already precedents for this approach. Indeed, when I introduced the industrial manslaughter legislation as Minister for Industrial Relations late last year, I immediately moved for its referral to the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs. There was no objection at that time.

Mr Stefaniak: No, we knew that it was coming.

MR CORBELL: Neither did the government seek the agreement of the chair of the committee or the committee before doing so. I think there is a reasonable precedent for referral to occur. This bill does have wide-ranging ramifications for both employees and employers. It is certainly the government's view that those matters need to be properly considered by a committee of this Assembly before the Assembly further debates the legislation.

MR BERRY (10.57): As the member who proposed this bill, I would like to endorse its consideration by the committee. I think that that would be a wise move. Whilst a number of people have made a contribution to the development of this bill to this point, I think the formal procedures that a committee provides will assist in further exposing the bill to public scrutiny. I would urge the chair of the committee, Mr Stefaniak, to find comfort in the fact that he will be consulting with a community very interested in the outcome for its workers.

MR STEFANIAK (10.58): I seek leave to speak again.

Leave granted.

MR STEFANIAK: I have no problems with this bill going to my committee. In fact, I think that that is entirely appropriate for something of this nature and I thank the member concerned for supporting the suggestion that his bill go to the committee. I would, however, point out that in Mr Corbell's case I knew what was coming as chair of the committee.

I would also point out that it is common courtesy if the government or anyone else wants to send a bill to a committee to let the committee, at least the chair of the

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