Page 3694 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 26 August 2008

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legislation that has been problematic over the years. But if you are going to rewrite it and if you are going to try to set things up so that we have a fairer system that benefits all, why on earth not do it properly? Why not accept the fact that you might have got this consultation process wrong again? Why not just defer this?

I initially had some carriage in this matter and suggested that we defer it for six months. Everyone concerned would have been happy with that. It would give ample time to sit down and consult with all the relevant people. Amend the legislation that you have. If you have regulations, show them what those regulations are. Then bring this back in maybe March next year. Or we could bring it back in March next year if my party is the government. But do it properly. It is too important to do it in a slapdash manner. It is too important to not recognise the concerns of people who say that they have not been consulted and who list a whole series of faults, which means that the bill is inherently flawed. It is a somewhat pointless exercise to try and secure amendments to rectify what is effectively a terminal process.

When the minister brought in his amendments, I thought, “This will be interesting. They at least have listened to do that. Maybe they can fix up most of it.” Alas, that was not the situation at all. We are still left effectively with legislation that will be a dog’s breakfast.

I am leaving this place. There is only one other member here who will probably remember a little debate in 1991, and that is the Speaker. We were doing planning legislation. We had the Residents Rally, who loved planning—my dear old colleagues in the Alliance government. I think we might have fallen out at that stage. I can remember David Snell, a government official who is still with the JACS department, pulling his hair out. For a very fine halfback, David was a very mild-mannered gentleman, but, as were his colleagues, he was frustrated with amendments coming left, right and centre, trying to fix up what was pretty bad legislation and what then became even worse because of last-minute amendments trying to plug holes here and put bandaids on there. It would have been far better if that whole debate had been shunted off and we had come back in about three months time and done it properly. It took about seven or eight years to overcome some of the problems with what turned out to be ad hoc amendments trying to rectify problems that had suddenly cropped up, probably due to a lack of foresight. I am not quite sure how much, if any, consultation was engaged in then, but clearly it was not a very good process.

We are doing the same thing here again. We have detailed legislation, which is crucially important and which affects many people in our territory. There are some very good things in this, but there are also some very bad things, which still have not been rectified. When this was first raised, I was hoping that the government would say, “Let’s get it right. Let’s put it off and bring it back.” What is the rush? You started a process in 2005; it is now late 2008. What on earth is wrong with finishing that process in March 2009 when you know you will be much more likely to get it right?

Why the need now to push through—rush through—in the face of huge opposition in the community, a bill that has so many problems? You may not now have 50 or 60 different individual dot point sections as problems; you might have knocked out 10 or 20 of those. But we still hear that this is a bill that should not go through as it is. It is a bill that should be withdrawn. It should be adjourned and brought back later on.

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