Page 1161 - Week 03 - Thursday, 31 March 2011

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Consequently, Mr Speaker, to have effect this bill must be passed by one of these special majorities. The purpose of the special majority requirements of the entrenchment act is to ensure that any significant changes to our electoral system have multi-party support. In this case, given the compelling arguments for making the proposed changes, aimed at preserving the representative nature of the Assembly, the government hopes that this bill will receive the support of all Assembly members.

As mentioned in the presentation speech for the Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, which I will be presenting shortly, the government has also decided to seek to refer these bills to the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for review and report. I intend to speak to the chair of the committee and to other members of the committee in advance of moving such a referral to seek their advice on the timing of such a referral and the period of time required to give consideration to these bills.

These bills are an important change to the way our electoral system operates in relation to one particular aspect. It is important that we provide for detailed public scrutiny of the proposals and an opportunity for all Assembly members to consider their import, their consequences and whether or not they should proceed. At this stage, Mr Speaker, I will foreshadow that the government would be wishing to move a referral of these bills to the relevant Legislative Assembly committee for inquiry and report in the next sitting week, but that will obviously depend on discussions with the relevant members of the committee. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.

Electoral Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.59): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill provides for amendments to the Electoral Act 1992 and the Electoral Regulation 1993. The amendments primarily arise from recommendations made by the ACT Electoral Commission in its report on the conduct of the 2008 ACT Legislative Assembly general election.

Changes recommended by the Electoral Commission after the 2008 election that appear as amendments in this bill include: limiting the number of candidates that may be nominated for an election in an electorate to no more than the number of members of the Legislative Assembly to be elected for the electorate; providing for the return of

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