Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 1 November 2018) . . Page.. 4626 ..
The other logical places for it to go are already the busiest committees, that is, the public accounts committee or the justice and community safety committee. They could reasonably perform those roles but they already have a significant workload, and I think that it would be that all the work of those committees would be distracted from by adding another set of duties.
There are a few other things. In recommendation 23 we say quite clearly that we believe that the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly should be subject to mandatory corruption notifications but we make it clear that that is, along with other officers of the Assembly, in relation to not to their statutory responsibility but to the administration of their offices. So it is as the head of an agency that they should be ensuring that there is no corrupt activity in their agency and, if there is, that they must report it. But we also took the view very clearly that the advice being given by the Clerk to a member does remain privileged in the way that it always has.
Moving away from things that relate directly to the Assembly, the administration and procedure committee and the responsibilities of the Speaker, I just want to highlight two other recommendations. The first is recommendation 43. One of the things that we found when we perused the legislation—both the exposure draft and Mr Coe’s draft bill—was that there was not a comprehensive list of general offences against obstructing the commissioner and the inspector, and we have made a recommendation that there should be provisions similar to those in part 9 of the New South Wales act to make sure that obstructing the commissioner, the inspector, their staff or witnesses are covered by general offences.
One of the other things, which is one of my little hobbyhorses at the moment, is the last recommendation, recommendation 54, which calls on the government to establish a comprehensive review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act with a view to implementing the changes by 2020.
As I said at the outset, this is a very important body of work. There is clear cross-party, across-chamber support for the passage of this legislation, and I think that the work of the committee will make the passage of that much easier. I also think that recommendation 3, which sets out the path forward, is a good approach. It is not ideal but I think it is as good as we can get if we are going to meet the general commitment to pass this legislation this year. I commend the recommendations and the work of the committee to the Assembly.
MS LEE (Kurrajong) (11.15): It was like bringing the band back together—and, like with all good bands—with a member leaving and a new member brought in. Whilst we missed the ever-passionate contributions of Mrs Jones, it is fair to say that the committee was well served by the experience and knowledge of Mrs Dunne’s contribution to the inquiry. I can confidently say at the outset that we, as we did during the first select committee’s inquiry, worked extremely well together on examining a topic that is of such interest and importance to the entire Canberra community.