Page 4853 - Week 12 - Tuesday, 25 October 2011

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Ayes 11

Noes 6

Mr Barr

Mr Hargreaves

Mr Coe

Mr Smyth

Dr Bourke

Ms Hunter

Mr Doszpot

Ms Bresnan

Ms Le Couteur

Mrs Dunne

Ms Burch

Ms Porter

Mr Hanson

Mr Corbell

Mr Rattenbury

Mr Seselja

Ms Gallagher

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 5, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 6.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Leader, ACT Greens) (11.25): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 4942].

The Greens are moving this amendment to protect the autonomy and control of this parliament. It is simply not appropriate to delegate out this parliament’s legislative function to a national body. It is our responsibility to legislate in the best interests of Canberra. Whilst we recognise that it is often desirable to ensure national consistency and recognise that it is not unreasonable to have mechanisms in place to discourage divergence over time, it is not reasonable for this parliament to accept the decisions of others as binding laws on this community without the clear and express opportunity for this parliament to supervise the process and maintain effective and timely control over the laws of the territory.

To that end, the ACT Greens have proposed this amendment to make any changes to the national law disallowable instruments. This allows national process to continue and for changes to occur without this place passing updated legislation. At the same time, it does mean that all members in this place have a clear and express mechanism to promptly draw to the parliament’s attention any provisions that they feel are not in our best interests. Then we can resolve the matter just as when we delegate authority to the executive.

Effectively, we have taken the lesser of two evils and decided that the Henry VIII clause subject to the disallowance provision is a better option than what is being proposed in the bill. I think that at some point we will need to have a more detailed look at where we are going with national schemes and have a proper framework in place so that we can be sure that every law that applies in the ACT has been determined by this place to be in the best interests of the ACT. That applies whether or not we are talking about acts or regulations.

The amendment ensures that if parliament does disagree with a regulation made by the council we can disallow it as we would any other regulation. Whilst it is true that

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