Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 September 2005) . . Page.. 3434 ..
cabinet submissions to report fully on the outcomes of external stakeholder consultations. The cabinet handbook states that consultation issues that should be reported on in a cabinet submission are: who is most affected by the policy proposal? What methods have been used to engage these people and over what time period? Have key stakeholders and representative groups been consulted? How has the broader community been made aware of the policy proposal, if appropriate? In addition, submissions should report on the issues raised during consultation and provide responses to those issues. These sound very similar to Professor Bottomley’s proposal.
Making such information available to the public would greatly assist the third person’s ability to scrutinise a bill and assess how it was developed. It would also help members in their own consultation with constituents on the bill. I am interested to know if members of the Assembly are ready or willing to take this large step and I look forward to debate on this consultation bill.
My hope is that, once this bill has been passed and put into practice, policy makers will improve their consultation practice and reporting and their comfort with making this reporting available, working towards the stronger measures put forward by Professor Bottomley and, apparently, practised by cabinet. You will see that in the explanatory statement attached to the consultation bill the ACT Greens have included a list of the organisations and individuals we have consulted in developing the bill.
A brief summary of the responses so far has shown support from community agencies, more enthusiasm for consultation reporting than for the mandatory explanatory statement from the opposition, and more enthusiasm for the mandatory explanatory statement than for a consultation report from government.
We will continue to do this with our bills whether or not this bill is successful. I do believe that in the interests of accountability and transparency we should all be doing it. Mr Speaker, this bill is a small step on the path to accountability and transparency and I commend it to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mr Hargreaves) adjourned to the next sitting.
Proposed motion on industrial relations laws
Mrs Dunne: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek guidance as to whether the motion to be proposed by Mr Gentleman is in order in a couple of respects. One is that it relates to non-existent federal industrial relation laws; they have not yet been tabled. The other is that much of what it refers to has to do with the protection of family friendly working conditions and I am particularly interested in that as it relates to the select committee which has been established to look at working families in the Australian Capital Territory. That committee, as we know, has been formed. I understand that there have been advertisements for submissions. I am wondering whether there is some crossover between this debate and the inquiry of the select committee.
Mr Corbell: Mr Speaker, I wish to speak to the point of order. First of all, this motion in no way duplicates the terms of reference of the select committee that has been established. The terms of reference of the select committee are quite different. Whilst the