Page 3273 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 17 September 2013
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (3:48), by leave, I move:
That Report 2, entitled Draft Variation to the Territory Plan No. 308—Cooyong Street Urban Renewal Area, be referred back to the Standing Committee on Planning, Environment and Territory and Municipal Services and the Committee consider whether the Report should be adopted.
It is quite clear there is some confusion, some ambiguity and some concern as to whether this report is valid. It is important that it is clear that any report tabled in this place is actually a report of the committee or whether it is simply a chair’s draft. It would appear that the investigations subsequent to the report being deliberated upon in the committee make it clear, to an extent, that the motion that the report be adopted should be moved by the chair. As the standing orders are silent on this, House of Representatives Practice therefore takes precedence, and that guides us at page 709, as you said, Madam Speaker.
I think there is significant doubt as to whether it is actually a committee report or simply a chair’s draft. It would be prudent for the committee to reconsider the report and, in line with House of Reps practice, the chair move that the report be adopted, that it be voted on and brought back to this place subsequent to that vote.
MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (3.50): I am happy to talk to this and am happy to have the report come back to the committee for any further clarity, but I will take you to the minutes of the meeting that you referred to, Madam Speaker, and go through a little of the process that occurred in deliberation of the report. The minutes reflect at 4.11 that the chair submitted a draft report circulated on 27 August 2013 and recirculated on 2 September 2013. For members’ interest, the report of 27 August was a bare-bones report and I as the chair asked for input from all committee members to the final report. At 4.12 the minutes show that no alternative draft report was submitted. At 4.13 the chair proposed to consider the draft report paragraph by paragraph in accordance with the standing order 248. The committee agreed to the chair’s proposal.
This is where the committee agrees on a process to deliberate on the report, Madam Speaker. Standing order 248 states:
At a meeting convened for the purpose, the Chair shall submit the draft report which may be considered at once. Copies shall be circulated in advance to each Member of the committee. The report shall be considered paragraph by paragraph or, by leave, paragraphs may be considered together. Appendices shall be considered in order at the conclusion of the consideration of the report itself. A Member objecting to any portion of the report shall move an amendment at the time the paragraph to be amended is under consideration.
This is exactly what occurred, Madam Speaker, and that is reflected directly in the minutes. You can see where members agreed to paragraphs. For example, at 4.14 the committee considered and agreed to paragraphs 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and this continues right