Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 11 May 2017) . . Page.. 1728 ..
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (4.49): For very similar reasons to Mr Barr, we will not be supporting the amendments. The first one has the possibility of challenging a board decision if it is not in the best interests of the community. Of course, when you put it like that, it is clearly something that we would support. The problem is that it is not clear what we mean by the community. If the community could be defined as a very small part of the community who may disagree, we think this leaves a real possibility of legal challenges, which are probably going to be unsuccessful. The language is not clear enough to make this something that we could support.
The second amendment says:
The authority must report to the Legislative Assembly any allegation made to the authority, in relation to an authority board member’s failure to comply with the member’s duty …
We think, as Mr Barr said, that this is simply too onerous. It would mean that if you were a member of the board and someone said something about you, within five days this would have to be reported to the Legislative Assembly. It would make it very difficult for someone to feel that they wished to be a member of the board with that potential.
I would also say that the ACT integrity commission, which, hopefully, will soon be established, would be another body which would have powers to investigate any alleged misconduct or breach of duty of good conduct. This may go some way towards assuring Mr Coe that there will be ways of making sure that the board members do the right thing. There are also the Public Sector Standards Commissioner and the Auditor-General. But, appreciably, I think the answer to Mr Coe’s question is the integrity commissioner in terms of implementing additional measures over where we are at present. We are really concerned that as this is currently written it is just too onerous.
Clause 19 agreed to.
Proposed new clause 19A.
MR COE (Yerrabi—Leader of the Opposition) (4.52): I move amendment No 9 circulated in my name, which inserts a new clause 19A [see schedule 4 at page 1778]. This amendment, I think, would address many of the vagaries and concerns that currently exist with regard to the LDA board. It is in effect requiring that the material interests of the board must be disclosed and published online. We think this would be a welcome development with regard to how the board of the new authority is to be managed.