Page 1361 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 3 May 2016

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Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Assembly met at 10 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 44

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo) (10.01): I present the following report:

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee (Legislative Scrutiny Role)—Scrutiny Report 44, dated 2 May 2016, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MR DOSZPOT: Scrutiny report 44 contains the committee’s comments on three bills, 21 pieces of subordinate legislation and four government responses. It also included comment on the government’s response to the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2016.

The committee also considered a letter from the Minister for the Environment and Climate Change concerning the proposed introduction and passage of the Renewable Energy Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. The committee thanks the minister for advising the committee of the minister’s intention, but notes that the time frame does not provide adequate opportunity for the committee to consider the bill against its terms of reference.

It is acknowledged that from time to time urgent legislation will come before the Assembly which must be dealt with expeditiously and, as a consequence, will not have the benefit of comment from the scrutiny committee during debate in the Assembly. However, such occasions should be rare and exceptional. Regrettably, Madam Speaker, this was the fourth occasion this year that a minister has written to the committee seeking dispensation of the scrutiny committee’s obligations under its terms of reference and the standing orders.

The committee also observes that very few proposed government amendments to bills are referred to the committee, as required by standing order 182A. Rather, the government’s common practice has been to seek the Assembly’s agreement to suspend standing orders to deal with its proposed amendments, purportedly because they are urgent or minor and technical. The committee reminds the government that it should refer proposed amendments to it and that the appropriate time frame is at least 14 calendar days before it is proposed to move an amendment.

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