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Bills to increase size of assembly introduced

By 5 June 2014 12

Two bills introduced into the ACT Legislative Assembly today will increase the size of the assembly to 25 members representing five electorates.

Attorney-General, Simon Corbell, introduced two bills that together increase the size of the assembly and allow for five members to be returned from each of five electorates at the 2016 ACT election.

“This is an important reform which will improve representative democracy and good governance for the people of Canberra,” Mr Corbell said.

“These amendments are consistent with the findings of an expert reference group, chaired by the Electoral Commissioner, on the size of the Legislative Assembly.

“That report recommended an increase in the size of the Assembly to 25 members, with five members from each of five electorates for the 2016 election.”

The size of the assembly was originally set by the Commonwealth in the ACT Self-Government Act in 1988.

“Canberra has come a long way since self-government. We have grown as a population. Our Assembly is responsible for making laws for territory and local government functions. It has wider functions than parliaments in other states and the Northern Territory, none of which have fewer than 25 members.

“The assembly has wider functions than it did at self-government. The ACT also provides services to the surrounding NSW region.

“Now is the time for us to address the issue. These bills will help ensure good governance by providing more representation, and more capacity to oversee the functions of Government.”

(Simon Corbell Media Release)

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12 Responses to Bills to increase size of assembly introduced
#1
rommeldog566:41 pm, 07 Jun 14

“This is an important reform which will improve representative democracy and good governance for the people of Canberra,” Mr Corbell said.”

So Simon, does “good governance” mean a continuation of the current ACT Governments economically irresponsible fiscal infrastructure ? With all the new MLAs, staffers and accommodation requirements, maybe their first decision can be to build a new Legislative Assembly building, sell it, then lease it back for 30 years or so ? Maybe build more toy train sets, maybe quadruple Annual Rates, maybe more sky whales, infrastructure cost blow outs, maybe tax cars off the road, maybe……oh, whats the use really ? More idiots in the Legislative Assembly doesn’t = “good governance”, Simon – just more of the rubbish and poor decision making the current ACT Government is famous for. More spin, more press statements, more costs like wages and superannuation for ACT Ratepayers to meet, etc.

What this about “representative democracy” Simon ?? You are a minority Government. Does that mean that ACT Labor will go back to the people now to seek majority government in their own right ? I hope so Simon, bring it on………please !

#2
switch9:58 pm, 07 Jun 14

“Bills to increase size of assembly” would be a better description.

#3
miz9:30 pm, 08 Jun 14

Yeah, $$$$bills. It’s going to cost us.

#4
Mickeyau9:34 am, 09 Jun 14

I think Simon Corbell has had a bit of an oversight, the ACT people rejected self government at referendum.

What perplexes me even more is that Canberra has approximately 350,000 citizens yet the NSW Penrith Council is close to a million citizens and remains a council.

Ultimately the average Australian is paying more far more taxes than they should due to a model of federal, state and municipal regulation, creating duplication and unnecessary cost to all tax payers.

#5
gazket8:56 pm, 09 Jun 14

Of course the bill will pass as they won’t be able to knock back their mates from getting in on the trough feed.

#6
Garfield3:37 pm, 10 Jun 14

Mickeyau said :

What perplexes me even more is that Canberra has approximately 350,000 citizens yet the NSW Penrith Council is close to a million citizens and remains a council.

Ultimately the average Australian is paying more far more taxes than they should due to a model of federal, state and municipal regulation, creating duplication and unnecessary cost to all tax payers.

The Penrith City Council doesn’t have to run health & education systems let alone all the other state level responsibilities, so its not a valid comparison to the ACT government. The Tasmanian government would be closer, but it doesn’t have the council level responsibilities that the ACT Government has.

The constitution would require a major overhaul to get rid of the states, which I don’t see happening any time soon. We’ll become a republic and amend the mariage act to allow same sex marriage before the states go. Logically there should be savings to be made by amalgamating all the state health departments with the federal one and so no, but it would be very disruptive and costly to implement.

#7
housebound4:12 pm, 10 Jun 14

I’ll vote for any MLA that votes against this bill. Who wants more Andrew Barrs and Simon Corbells in there? And in case you think I’m picking on the ALP, I did a very flawed and quick go over the numbers a while ago to find that we’d end up with only 1 new Liberal and lots more ALP and possibly a few Greens. So no more Vicki Dunnes [insert name of most hated Lib polly here], even if that’s what you wanted!

Wake up Libs. Do you really think ALP are introducing this for our benefit, or yours? Would they do it if they didn’t need to?

I have no hope that the Liberals will realise this, of course, and vote for it in the stupid hope they might gain something from it.

All we gain is higher taxes, oh, and a tram.

#8
bigfeet5:23 pm, 10 Jun 14

Garfield said :

The constitution would require a major overhaul to get rid of the states, which I don’t see happening any time soon.

There is no necessity to get rid of the states. Just get rid of ACT self government. 65% of the population voted against it but it was thrust upon us against our will anyway.

#9
switch5:24 pm, 10 Jun 14

housebound said :

Wake up Libs. Do you really think ALP are introducing this for our benefit, or yours? Would they do it if they didn’t need to?

All we gain is higher taxes, oh, and a tram.

It is just possible that if Labor assure themselves of majority government in perpetuity with more members, then they’ll drop this stupid tram charade they have to play to keep the Rat on side.

#10
Maya1236:12 pm, 10 Jun 14

bigfeet said :

Garfield said :

The constitution would require a major overhaul to get rid of the states, which I don’t see happening any time soon.

There is no necessity to get rid of the states. Just get rid of ACT self government. 65% of the population voted against it but it was thrust upon us against our will anyway.

That was years ago and those figures are old and it gets tiring to have them continually regurgitated. It would be interesting to know how people feel now. I voted against it then, but I would vote for self government now. We all mature. It would also be interesting to compare those figures to a survey of how people feel about compulsory voting generally. Perhaps the same people would vote against both given the opportunity.

#11
dungfungus6:31 pm, 10 Jun 14

switch said :

housebound said :

Wake up Libs. Do you really think ALP are introducing this for our benefit, or yours? Would they do it if they didn’t need to?

All we gain is higher taxes, oh, and a tram.

It is just possible that if Labor assure themselves of majority government in perpetuity with more members, then they’ll drop this stupid tram charade they have to play to keep the Rat on side.

That’s the plan.

#12
patrick_keogh8:15 am, 11 Jun 14

I feel very positive about the increase in size of the L.A. With even my limited exposure to ACT day-to-day government it has been clear that, given that the size of the government will be at best not much larger than half the assembly, the government party or coalition just plain does not have the numbers to adequate cover the portfolio, having to cover a range of responsibilities that in the states are handled by a state parliament PLUS a local council.

I may agree or disagree with specific policy decisions and implemented initiatives, but it can hardly help that both the minister and the shadow minister have to cover such a range of responsibilities. For example Brendan Smyth has the responsibilities of Opposition Whip, Shadow Treasurer, Shadow Minister for Arts and Tourism, Shadow Minister for Economic and Business Development, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services, Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Shadow Minister for Gaming and Racing. How much constructive review can he do for proposed expenditure or legislation across any one of these?

As the territory has grown and will continue to grow, the “burden” of the additional members, their staff and facilities is being spread over a larger number of voters/taxpayers so as an individual I will not be paying a significantly different fraction in the future than I did twenty years ago.

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