Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 01 Hansard (Thursday, 15 February 2018) . . Page.. 265 ..
committee to examine what role the Assembly has in ensuring the eligibility of persons seeking to fill casual vacancies, the process undertaken in other jurisdictions, whether the previous appointments made by the Assembly might be considered in hindsight to be unsound, and whether the Legislative Assembly needs to adopt any new practices.
The committee did look at the Assembly’s role, and found that the Assembly’s role in choosing senators for the Australian Capital Territory is set out in both the Australian Constitution and the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918. The report outlines the details of those provisions.
The report then goes on to look at what other jurisdictions do, in chapter 3. There is quite some detail there on what other jurisdictions do. It varies quite a bit across the jurisdictions. Ultimately, the committee concluded, as can be seen from the table in section 3 of our report, that it appears that the Assembly has one of the more robust procedures to select a senator when compared to practices in other state or territory legislatures.
Going on from that, the committee makes a single recommendation:
… that the Assembly:
(a) notes the difficulties posed by the requirements of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987 and the need for comity between the Legislative Assembly and the Senate …
(b) notes that the matter of the eligibility of an ACT senator is before the High Court of Australia; and
(c) agrees to consider the findings of the High Court in the context of the upcoming review of standing orders, including the Assembly’s continuing resolutions, by the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure.
That is the report, and I am sure that members of the committee would be happy to discuss it with other members if there is a desire to do so.
Debate (on motion by Mr Wall) adjourned to the next sitting.
Health, Ageing and Community Services—Standing Committee
MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (12.11): I present the following report:
Health, Ageing and Community Services—Standing Committee—Report 3—Report on Annual and Financial Reports 2016-2017, dated 15 February 2018, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.
That the report be noted.