Page 332 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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scrutiny committee to comment on government amendments to bills unless the amendments are urgent, minor or technical or in response to prior scrutiny comment.

A protocol which the committee has adopted in the past, and advised to the government, is for the government to provide proposed amendments to the committee no later than 14 days prior to the sitting at which they will be moved. This time frame is not onerous. It enables the amendments to be provided to our legal advisers for a report to be drafted and for the committee to consider carefully the draft report at its scheduled meeting for the week prior to the sitting week.

Mr Ramsay’s letters are dated 7 February, that is, seven days prior to this sitting on 14 February. Whilst the committee appreciates the Attorney-General’s advice regarding the technical need for the amendments, the committee notes that historically 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 leave to deal with its proposed amendments, purportedly because they are urgent, minor or technical or in response to scrutiny comments. 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 the amendment is proposed to be moved.

The previous scrutiny committee chair made a statement in the last Assembly to this effect, in May 2016. In the statement the chair also referred to the introduction and passage of bills in the same sitting period. He noted:

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.

Government priorities

Ministerial statement

MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (10.18): I am very pleased this morning to outline the government’s policy and legislative priorities for 2017. The government’s plan is to make the Canberra we love even better. We will support Canberrans when they need help; we will invest in infrastructure to keep our city moving and our economy growing; and we will deliver stronger schools and hospitals for everyone.

I said during the 2016 campaign that the election would define our city for years to come. Canberrans overwhelmingly supported the clear and positive plan that we took to the election. After a busy first 100 days we are already delivering on our commitments. We will realise the full potential of Canberrans and our city by capitalising on our advantages as a smart, livable, inclusive and connected community.

Since forming government we have been getting on with job of doing what Canberrans elected us to do. The parliamentary agreement for the Ninth Legislative

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