Page 1425 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 10 May 2006
Wednesday, 10 May 2006
MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
Legislative Assembly Precincts Amendment Bill 2006
Debate resumed from 29 March 2006, on motion by Mr Berry:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts) (10.31): I rise today to indicate that the government welcomes the changes proposed by the Legislative Assembly Precincts Amendment Bill and will be supporting it. The amendments are quite straightforward. They are essentially machinery amendments moved by Mr Berry, the Speaker, in the context of the management of the Assembly and the Assembly environs.
The anomaly which has been recognised and dealt with through this bill is the anomaly that the Assembly, under the current arrangement, does not control the use of its own building. I think that it is certainly most sensible to reassert the standing of the Assembly. I think that these matters are quite important. I think it is particularly important in terms of the standing and sovereignty of any parliament, and most certainly this Assembly, that it does have that level of control over the use of its own building or parliament. It does that through this legislation in regard to outside individuals and organisations that seek to use any part of the Assembly building or the Assembly precincts.
The bill permits the Speaker to set appropriate fees. That will be done by way of a determination which will be a disallowable instrument. In that regard, the Assembly will have final control over issues such as the determination of fees. The changes will certainly facilitate the operation of the Assembly. They are quite simple changes, but they are important changes. They will ensure, too, that the Assembly remains a central part of the community that we represent by having the power to approve and, through these arrangements, continue to encourage the appropriate use of the Assembly’s facilities by members of the community.
I think that it is fair to say that from time to time each member of this place hosts community events and facilities within the reception room. I thank the Speaker and his staff, the attendants and other members of the staff of the Assembly for the way in which they facilitate and assist in ensuring that this parliament, this Assembly, remains a central part of the community which we all seek to serve and represent. The government is very pleased to be supporting these proposed changes to the management of the parliament.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella—Leader of the Opposition) (10.35): The opposition will be supporting the bill. The whole premise that we are not in control of our own building is unacceptable. This bill does give us that control and, for the reasons outlined by the