Page 1601 - Week 05 - Thursday, 8 May 2008

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members and the secretary—then let us do it that way. We are members. If debate on the bill is delayed until August, there is a good chance it will not be through before the election, because I imagine there will be substantive debate, especially if there are concerns about the bill. So far those concerns have been ironed out by negotiation, discussion and dialogue, which is a good way to do it. But if debate on the bill does not start until August, I would be concerned that it would not get through before the election. There will be so much business in the two sitting weeks in August.

Ms Gallagher: Three.

DR FOSKEY: Three. Anyway, I still feel there is that possibility that debate will not be finished. If we start the debate in June, we may still be debating it in August anyway. I am not going to support the motion. I hope the motion was based on a real concern. I think we should have total respect for this legislation and for the processes that are being followed. We should debate it in the Assembly and do our jobs.

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (12.29): Mr Speaker, I will speak briefly on this matter. I am sorry for the Sanskrit version of the amendment I have circulated, but my proposal is to amend Mrs Dunne’s amended motion by inserting the date “4 August” instead of “19 August” as the date for the committee to report back, and I so move the amendment circulated in my name:

The date “19 August 2008” be amended to “4 August 2008”.

Mr Speaker, I have been long in discussions with my staff and have vacillated somewhat on how we should proceed on this issue. I want to first of all say that I am appreciative of the length to which Ms Gallagher, the minister, and her advisers, particularly Mr Purtell, have gone to ensure that they have made officials available for briefings. That is appreciated. Obviously, as an independent member of this place, it is necessary for me and my office to handle briefings on every area of legislation as we do not have any others in here at this time. The extent to which they accommodated our lines of inquiry is greatly appreciated. Once or twice the briefings had to be rescheduled. It was significant that on one of those occasions there was a briefing with opposition members that went for more than three hours, and that put back the time that we could meet. That tells you that there are a range of complex issues in this particular bill that take quite—

MR SPEAKER: Order! The time for discussion of Assembly business has expired.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.31 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Budget—amenity of public areas

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Treasurer and it relates to budget funding in the outyears. Minister, budget paper No 3, page 95, details the improved maintenance

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