Page 2674 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 6 June 2012

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I would like to thank former staff members, Emma Smith, Annika Hutchins and Andrew Hunter, for their work on this very important piece of legislation and the former pieces of legislation and the discussion paper and research that went before this, and my current staff, Monica Vannasy, Murielle Zielonka, Charles Njora and Jack Simpson, particularly Jack, for his ongoing assistance in helping me develop this bill. And of course I appreciate the support of my caucus colleagues, particularly the Attorney-General.

I would especially like to thank all those who consulted with me, and I mentioned them before. There are of course many people—residents, the Retirement Village Residents Association, the Retirement Village Association, Council on the Ageing and Seniors Australia in particular. I would like to thank them all for their ongoing commitment to this process, which has been quite long, and they have stuck with it and been most diligent in the way they have consulted with me every step of the way.

I believe this provides an approach which meets the needs of all stakeholders in the retirement village sector. It is the product of extensive consultation, as I said, and I look forward to the support of other members of this place for this essential piece of legislation.

Debate (on motion by Mr Corbell) adjourned to the next sitting.

Electoral (Limits on Gifts) Amendment Bill 2012

Ms Hunter, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Leader, ACT Greens) (10.49): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Last sitting the Assembly passed some very significant changes to the electoral law, and particularly the way political party campaigns are financed in the ACT. We followed New South Wales and Queensland, although without the scandals as a catalyst for action, to create a new scheme to regulate how political parties can generate and spend money and made some very significant reforms that will improve the quality of our democracy.

However, in passing such significant, complex and, in part, controversial legislation, we did make a couple of mistakes along the way. All this bill does is correct those outstanding issues and ensure that, come 1 July, we have a robust scheme ready to be rolled out for this year’s election.

The amendments in the bill relate primarily to two issues: the prohibition on donations by anyone other than ACT electors and anonymous donations.

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