Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 28 August 2008) . . Page.. 3903 ..
Whilst the exposure draft was available for comment for a period, a document of 160 pages plus unseen regulations might be OK for governments to work within a week from introducing the legislation to debating and passing, it hardly provides businesses and others a lot of time to analyse and comment on.
That is true. And at the end of the day, what would be wrong with bringing this back and passing it in March with whatever amendments you need? You are not going to commence it until 1 July. Even on that, you might rush it through.
You will do what you like; you have got the numbers. That is the problem with a majority government. You will bring it through. But what happens if a new government comes in and recognises that there are problems here and it is a crock of the proverbial? It is going to have to be read; it is going to have to come back. It is going to have to be fixed up before 1 July anyway.
You have the opportunity now to take it away, take on board what these people have said, talk to them, make any necessary adjustments and bring it back. It is not going to harm you; you do not intend starting it until 1 July. One wonders why it is so important then. It is not as though this is something we have to have now because there is some urgent real need for it. You yourselves say that it is not going to start till 1 July.
It could be out there in terms of an exposure draft. It could be out there in these terms: “This is what we are intending to do. We are putting the finishing touches to it. We are constantly consulting. This will be up and running on 1 July. There is a bit more work to do, but we are fair dinkum about proper consultation; we are fair dinkum about sitting down with these groups and going through them these concerns. We put this bill as a final bill on the table on 19 August and we will be bringing this back in six months time.” That is a reasonable position for you as the current government and should you be returned as the future government or for the next government if it is not you. This is not going to start until 1 July, so why is there a rush? Are you just trying to pander to one particular section of the industrial relations community? Is there some policy veneer?
At the end of the day, that is not very sensible. You owe it to the community to get this as right as you possibly can. Clearly there are still big problems. Clearly at the end of the day it is going to be no skin off your nose if you take it away and come back in February or March, because you do not intend starting it before 1 July next year. I encourage you to do so.
MR MULCAHY (Molonglo) (12.15): Thanks, Mr Speaker, and, before I start, I draw your attention to the state of the house.
A quorum not being present and the bells being rung—
Mr Barr: He just breached standing orders. You’re not allowed to leave the chamber during a quorum call. Is it correct, Mr Speaker, that members are not allowed to leave the chamber during a quorum call?