Page 35 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 February 2010

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What they want to do is deny Mr Barr the opportunity to put executive business on the table so that they can, in fact, produce something at another time and place which is, in all probability, going to be illogical and inappropriate. This denial of suspension of standing orders, the denial of leave, is quite undemocratic.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (11.59): The Greens will not support the minister’s request to seek the Assembly’s permission to table the government’s Education Amendment Bill 2010 and to suspend standing orders today. We have not heard a valid reason from the minister as to why the Assembly should not follow procedure by conducting today’s business according to the notice paper.

It is convention within this Assembly to follow the notice paper unless a good reason can be shown as to why alternative business should require the urgent attention of the Assembly. The notice paper not only serves the Assembly but also allows constituents and interested groups to receive notice as to what issues are before the Assembly. I am sure that if proceedings are changed at the last minute, concerned constituents would be searching the Hansard for valid reasons as to why that change occurred. Therefore, I encourage the minister to bring the bill to the house on Thursday as is in accordance with the Assembly’s normal procedures.

There is more than adequate provision and time for the minister to table this bill on that day. I remind the Assembly that we have not been given adequate reasons as to why Thursday is not an appropriate time to table the bill, and the Greens cannot commit to the record a sufficient explanation to support the suspension of standing orders on this matter today.

Question resolved in the negative.

Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

Debate resumed from 12 November 2009, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.01): The opposition will be supporting this bill. I thank the Treasurer for arranging a very useful briefing on this matter. As far as the opposition is concerned, an action that results in a simplification of regulation and administration is welcome, provided, of course, that there remain appropriate checks and balances on the use of public funds. The four matters that are included in this bill broadly deal with regulatory and administrative matters. Three of the matters concern the first home owner scheme.

The first of these matters relates to residency. It proposes to extend the period within which an applicant may apply for a variation of the six-monthly period of residency because of unforeseen circumstances. This appears to be a reasonable proposition. The situation that is envisaged relates to a person who has gained a grant under the first home owner scheme and who is faced with unforeseen circumstances that mean the person is unable to satisfy the requirement to live in the relevant property for a continuous period of at least six months.

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