Page 3851 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015
so that matters can be completed inside this term of the Assembly, which I think was the intent. Clearly there has been somewhat of a drafting error here and Mr Smyth has picked up an important point.
Amendment agreed to.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
Standing orders—proposed new standing order
DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (12.03): I move:
That the following new standing order be inserted in the standing orders:
“Referred to committee
99A. A petition or e-petition with at least 500 signatories from residents/citizens of the Australian Capital Territory shall be referred to the relevant Assembly standing committee for consideration. In the event that the subject matter of the petition makes it unclear which committee it should be referred to, the Speaker will determine the appropriate committee.”.
DR BOURKE: Madam Speaker, briefly, this motion would change standing orders so that valid petitions with more than 500 signatures are automatically referred to the relevant Assembly committee for consideration. The report on the implementation of the Latimer House principles in the Australian Capital Territory was tabled in the Assembly in February this year. It recommended consideration of a wider range of citizen engagement strategies. This motion seeks to pursue that theme. Sending motions to committees for consideration will enhance the Assembly’s engagement with the community. Committees, upon receipt of a petition, will need to consider if an inquiry should be commenced or whether to conduct a hearing or seek a briefing. The committee’s work will be in addition to the existing rule that requires a ministerial response within three months.
Madam Speaker, this is similar to the procedure in the Australian Senate, the Western Australian Legislative Council, the New Zealand parliament, the Scottish parliament and the UK House of Commons. Elsewhere in Australia our procedure is mirrored with a ministerial response required within a time limit and the allowance of a referral to a committee by a member on motion. I commend the motion to the Assembly and I look forward to its consideration by the administration and procedure committee.
Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned.
Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee
Motion (by Mr Smyth), by leave, agreed to:
That the order of the day relating to a proposed new standing order referring petitions to committees be referred to the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure for inquiry and report.