Page 2776 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 29 June 2011

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absence of any rumour and that this is why we agree to debate the matter in principle today. So that is why the Greens will be supporting the suspension of standing orders.

Question put:

That Mrs Dunne’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 10

Noes 7

Ms Bresnan

Ms Hunter

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Coe

Ms Le Couteur

Dr Bourke

Ms Porter

Mr Doszpot

Mr Rattenbury

Ms Burch

Mrs Dunne

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Mr Hanson

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Question so resolved in the affirmative, with the concurrence of an absolute majority.

Electoral (Donation Limit) Amendment Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 22 June 2011, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.31): The government will not be supporting this bill today, for a number of very important and critical reasons.

First, however, I wish to examine the circumstances in which this legislation comes before the Assembly. In his presentation speech, Mr Smyth said that this bill responds to community concerns about a “prospective” political donation. He did not identify who might be going to make that donation or to which political entity or how much might be donated. In order to address the purpose of this bill, it is therefore necessary to repeat much of what Mr Smyth said when he tabled his bill, which is not accompanied by an explanatory statement. I would hesitate to say, Mr Speaker, that in these circumstances an explanatory statement might have been helpful. Mr Smyth said:

The basis for this bill arises from the concerns raised by members of the community with me about a certain organisation which, it is understood, could be considering arranging to make a substantial donation to a political party operating in the ACT. The manner of this donation is reputed to be of such a significant size, and to be contemplated in such a way, as to raise the concern that it is a deliberate attempt to circumvent the inquiry into campaign finance reform, which is being conducted by the justice and community safety committee of this Assembly.

In the lead-up to the prospect of long-term campaign finance reform following the report of the justice and community safety committee, this bill has a very

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