Page 5351 - Week 14 - Thursday, 19 November 2009
inquiry and that is hopefully what all members of the committee in their contributions to it will be working towards; something that will stand the test of time; hopefully, reforms that broadly will stay in place for a long time because they have the confidence of the community and the confidence of this Assembly.
I will say more in closing after Ms Hunter and others have contributed, but just to summarise: we will not be supporting the amendment from Mr Corbell, simply because we do not believe this green paper should be put above others, but we are happy with the Greens’ amendment, because it is broadly in line with what we brought, and in the end we will be getting a committee inquiry, which we believe is very important to progress this issue.
MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (4.16): In speaking to Mr Corbell’s amendment, it is the ACT Greens’ belief that it is not necessary to pick one particular body of work to put into the terms of reference. I acknowledge the points that have been made by Mr Corbell. This is a significant body of work; it is an important body of work. I find it highly unlikely that a committee with the terms of reference that are set out here would not look at that body of work and make it part of its inquiry. Mr Corbell raised some points about the relationship between the ACT electoral law and the commonwealth electoral law—how those systems interact and so forth and the extra costs that might be incurred if different systems were put in place.
I go back to my amendment to Mr Seselja’s motion. Subparagraph (f) of the amendment goes right to the heart of this issue. It talks about the relationship between ACT electoral law and commonwealth electoral law. That really is where I see that link to the body of work done by the commonwealth comes in. We want to look at this issue broadly. We want to look at other work, other reviews, other papers and other research that has been done in this area right across Australia. I reiterate that we see the commonwealth’s body of work as incredibly important. It is not necessary to put that body of work into the terms of reference explicitly. The Greens believe that it will be very much part of the inquiry that will be run by the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety. That is why we will not be supporting Mr Corbell’s amendment.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.18): This is a very important motion. It is a very important motion about the maturity of the ACT and the political system in which we work. I congratulate the leader of the opposition, Mr Seselja, on bringing it forward. I know that Zed has been speaking on this matter for months now. He is very concerned to make sure that the system works and that it works equally for all.
Ultimately, in the end, it is not about us; it is about the people we represent. It is about making sure that what they need is delivered. It is about making sure that their ambitions are met and their potential is unleashed so that the ACT can be a great place to live. That starts with the campaigns. It starts with what all parties offer and the ability of whoever is in government to deliver. It is about honesty and it is about people understanding exactly what the parties are saying—not being swamped, because somebody can have a massive spend, or somebody not getting a voice because they cannot get access. In that regard the motion is very important. It is about maturity, not just democracy, in the ACT.