Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 November 2009) . . Page.. 5227 ..
On the proposed amendments, I have prepared an amendment to my bill to establish the number of public service nominees for different boards. For the sake of clarity, this amendment will impose a limit of one public servant on any board that has six or fewer members. For boards with more than six members, two public servants may be appointed. This amendment will ensure that, in the case of smaller boards, there can be no argument about whether a public servant should be appointed or not. The amendment also places a limit of two on the overall number of public servants who can be appointed to larger boards. I have prepared this amendment following discussion with my colleagues, the Greens and the minister’s senior adviser. I believe it provides a reasonable way forward on this aspect.
Mr Barr said it was unfortunate that we were wasting time here today. If there is anybody guilty of this being time wasting, it is purely and simply Minister Barr. Ministers do need to remember that they, in the end, have to come back and defend their actions in the Assembly. It is a shame that this has taken so long. What it has done is display how little regard Minister Barr has for the Assembly and how little understanding he has of the law in appointing members to a board.
I thank members for their interest in the matter. I thank the Greens for their support. I thank the Treasurer for the way that she has handled it. I look forward to the bill being passed and the EPIC board getting on with running EPIC, with the full support of the government because it is the best board of the day, not because it is a board with public servants on it.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Clause 1 agreed to.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.34): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 2 at page 5264].
Amendment 1 sets the date on which the bill will commence. What it does is set the starting date as 1 January 2010. That is six or seven weeks away. That should be a reasonable time for the minister to appoint a new board.
MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Health and Minister for Industrial Relations) (4.35): The government will not support this amendment. We have a subsequent amendment which provides for a six-month delay in commencement, which is the normal time for legislation to be enacted unless otherwise specified. But I think it is unreasonable to believe that, if this legislation passes today—there is six weeks to get an appointment process underway, people appointed, that appointment to go to cabinet and that appointment to have effect by