Page 3802 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013
The parliament has always been able to debate legislation from those who have a private member’s role. Under the arrangement with Mr Rattenbury, there is a component of his work that he does as a member of the crossbench. We have had to work out processes around cabinet to allow that to work, and with one year under our belt it has worked. The sky has not fallen in. Legislation has passed.
In terms of amendments to legislation, I would not necessarily agree with Mr Hanson that amendments have had to be moved to clean things up or to necessarily address deficiencies. Amendments are moved to reflect changes that other members want to see—not that in this case Mr Rattenbury wants to see, but it is open to the parliament to move amendments. I do not think it is fair to characterise it as sloppy work on any member’s part; it is just reflecting the majority of the Assembly.
Mr Hanson: What about the code? Did you think the code was sloppy?
MS GALLAGHER: I had differences around the code, which we amended, but I do not think that was because the work had not been done or it was sloppy work. It was because we disagreed with the use of certain language, and amendments were moved, as they will be today. I do not agree with the logic, Mr Hanson, and at some point down the track you might have to reflect on whether it is a sensible approach. Presumably we could just adjourn all the business that you bring to the parliament because you have not—
Mr Hanson: Presumably you could.
MS GALLAGHER: We do not. We debate your legislation, and we debate your motions.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ms Gallagher, I remind you to address your remarks through the Chair?
MS GALLAGHER: We do not just adjourn them because you have not had the entire public service drafting your legislation for you or you have not passed it through a cabinet process. That is not the way the parliament works. I would have no problem in working through any piece of legislation that comes to the parliament through the process that the Assembly has had for many years, since its inception, to deal with legislation from the crossbench and the opposition—and indeed the way the opposition deals with legislation from the government.
The government does have some amendments to move in the detail stage, but we are very supportive of the establishment of the Auditor-General, the Electoral Commissioner and the Ombudsman as officers of the Assembly. I look forward to working with the Speaker around how those arrangements will work in practice as soon as this legislation passes.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.36): I would like to contribute to this debate in my role as the Speaker. I would like to thank members of the Legislative Assembly for their cooperation in this matter; the discussions that I have had with Mr Rattenbury, Mr Hanson and the Chief Minister over these issues have been very productive.