Page 4289 - Week 10 - Thursday, 22 September 2011

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We will adjust the time lines for the work that we have already got underway in response to the establishment of the committee. I note Ms Le Couteur’s desire to see the report delivered by April next year in order to give the government time to respond in this parliamentary term. I believe that is appropriate.

I have one small amendment that I seek to move that has been circulated to members to Mr Seselja’s revised motion. I formally move that amendment to part 3 of his motion:

Omit paragraph (3), substitute:

“(3) matters relating to the decision to exercise the call-in power to approve the Giralang DA are not subject of the Committee’s inquiry while the matter is before the Supreme Court;”.

As I stated earlier, the Giralang DA is currently before the Supreme Court. Whilst there is an appeal before the courts, the government’s view is that the committee should not be reviewing those elements that relate directly to the decision on the Giralang DA. As such, the amendment that I move seeks to ensure the committee’s inquiry does not undertake a review of the matters that are directly relevant to the review by the Supreme Court. It would be inappropriate for a committee of the Assembly to undertake such a review. Therefore, the government’s amendment substitutes part 3 to Mr Seselja’s amended motion. I commend that amendment to the Assembly.

MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (10.46): The Canberra Liberals will not be supporting Mr Barr’s amendment. I think that I certainly made it very clear in my opening statement that we were happy to concede in discussions with the government that it is reasonable that that decision by Simon Corbell to call in the DA, as it is before the Supreme Court at the moment, be excluded.

This amendment would go, I think, potentially much broader than that. I think it would unreasonably limit the committee’s work. As I said in my opening statement, the issue at Giralang and the assessments at Giralang are where a lot of the rubber hits the road when it comes to this supermarket policy. So it would be unreasonable for the committee to be hamstrung in its work by such a broadly worded motion, and that is why we will not be supporting this wording that Mr Barr has suggested.

We see it as reasonable to exclude that narrow question that is being considered by the Supreme Court. We are not bound by that. The Assembly could make a decision to push on regardless, but we believe it is reasonable to exclude that. But going any further than that I think would unreasonably inhibit the committee from doing its work. It needs to be able to look at all of the relevant issues and, of course, relevant issues will include issues around Giralang shops.

What the current wording does is give a narrow exclusion to that consideration so that it does not traverse the particular question that is before the Supreme Court, and that is the decision by Simon Corbell to call it in. For those reasons we will not be supporting the amendment.

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