Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Thursday, 30 November 2017) . . Page.. 5396 ..
(c) that the Legislative Assembly has acted under Continuing Resolution 9 on two separate occasions to fill casual vacancies, in 2003 and 2015; and
(d) the processes currently being undertaken in the Federal Parliament to affirm the eligibility of current Members and Senators;
(2) refers Continuing Resolution 9 to the Legislative Assembly Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure to examine:
(a) what role the Legislative Assembly has in ensuring the eligibility of persons seeking to fill casual vacancies;
(b) the processes undertaken in other jurisdictions;
(c) whether the previous appointments made by the Assembly might be considered in hindsight to be unsound;
(d) whether the Legislative Assembly needs to adopt any new practices; and
(e) any other relevant matters; and
(3) the Committee shall report to the Assembly by the last sitting day in March 2018.”.
Mrs Dunne has outlined the key issues here. I think what has happened is that people’s common understanding of eligibility for federal parliament has been changed by the circumstances of the past six months or so and certainly the High Court’s ruling. Most people—I certainly did not—had no concept of that idea of having citizenship by descent impacting on people’s eligibility, but that is the circumstance we find ourselves in now. I think it is the right pathway for the admin and procedures committee to have a look at this and see whether the Assembly needs to reconsider the role it plays. I am pleased to have been able to contribute to this discussion and find a way that I think is practical for us to look at it in a fairly timely manner and report back to the Assembly as soon as practicable.
MR BARR (Kurrajong—Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism and Major Events) (12.10): I thank Minister Rattenbury for moving this amendment. I also thank the Deputy Speaker for being clearer in relation to what this is not. Let me be very clear that this is not an Assembly committee seeking to put itself in the place of the High Court to determine the eligibility or otherwise of Senator Gallagher to sit in the Senate. It is not, as is being reported by the Canberra Times and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, an Assembly inquiry into Senator Gallagher’s statutory declaration. It is neither of those things, and I am pleased that everyone has made that very clear in their remarks. I call on both those media organisations to withdraw the headlines of their stories as that is not what this is.
This is not a case of the Assembly seeking to put itself in a decision-making position or seeking to place itself in the role of the High Court. It has no practical implications at all in relation to Senator Gallagher’s ability to sit in the Senate as there has been an