Page 3808 - Week 12 - Thursday, 24 October 2013

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new point, which is Mr Hanson’s failure to attend a meeting to discuss the bill. It is an entirely new point and, in fact, far from being repetitious and tedious, it is new information for the Assembly.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Rattenbury. You may continue.

MR RATTENBURY: Thank you. So quite extraordinarily there was a meeting scheduled to discuss this bill and Mr Hanson did not turn up. In fact, he rang the day before and simply said he was not coming. There was no offer to reschedule the meeting and no desire to say, “I’m sorry, I can’t make it.” Things happen. I understand that. That is perfectly reasonable. He simply withdrew.

Let us talk about process. The complete disengagement of the Canberra Liberals is an embarrassment and it does a disservice to the fact that they are bothering to sit on those benches. If they cannot be bothered, they should just resign and let other members take their place. It is not good enough. It is simply not good enough to simply disengage from a piece of legislation. If that is what you want to do, fine, but do not come in here and pillory me for my drafting capability if you are not prepared to turn up and do the work to actually get the legislation right.

We all know that every piece of legislation that comes into this place gets all sorts of work done on it through the scrutiny of bills committee, through the committee processes and through negotiation prior to the bills coming before the Assembly. It is an embarrassing position that Mr Hanson is taking. I would be fascinated to see how long he sticks with it.

Let me simply conclude by saying that, whilst it is perhaps easier to say that this bill and the measures it implements is something of a paper reform, the fact that this could be said is only because of the quality of the people who currently and previously fulfilled these roles. The reality is that this is a very significant shift in the way our government is structured. It is an overdue shift of responsibility away from the executive to the Assembly and I am very confident that it will play an important role in delivering better outcomes for the community.

I hope that this is not the last of these reforms and that in time we see other bodies that perform an important part of what is commonly referred to as the fourth arm of government being recognised as officers of the Assembly so that they can better assist the first arm of government, the Assembly. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2.

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