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Dissenting report: Hon Dr Stone MP and Mr Vasta MP

1.1                   We do not support this legislation amendment which aims to:

n  remove the Governor-General’s power to  disallow or amend any Act of the Legislative Assembly of the ACT and NT.

1.2                   The  sections in the self-government Acts that would be repealed by the Bill provide as follows:

n  The Governor General may disallow a law or part of a law made by the relevant Legislative Assembly within six months after it is made;

n  The Governor General may recommend to the Administrator of the NT  or the  ACT Legislative Assembly any amendments of a law or of another law affected by that law within six months of  the passing of the first law;

n  If amendments are recommended,  the time within which the law may be disallowed is extended by six months from that date;

n  Once the disallowance is published on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments, the law is considered to be repealed, and any law that was amended or repealed by the disallowed law comes back into force.

1.3                   We do not support this Bill, although we agree that the matter of the Territories moving closer to statehood is very important. Such matters should, however, be carefully debated free of the Greens’ own political agenda in relation to, for example, changes in marriage or euthanasia legislation.

1.4                   Senator Brown has twice previously attempted to introduce Bills involving the disallowance of laws in the ACT, in 2006 and in 2009. There is little evidence however that he has made any accommodation for the different circumstances in the NT, at the same time that it has been included in this Bill.  

1.5                   The issues of the Territories’ statehood and greater independence should be the subject of careful, transparent and comprehensive debate leading to a detailed set of recommendations that include consideration of all of the constitutional complexities involved in self determination.

 

Hon. Dr Sharman Stone MP                                                              Mr Ross Vasta MP

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