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Simon Crean hands keys to the Asylum to Katy G

By 13 February 2013 15

The Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Amendment Bill 2013 was tabled in the Commonwealth Parliament today. Disturbingly, it hands to the ACT Legislative Assembly the power to determine the number of MLAs.

The purpose of this Bill is to amend the Australian Capital Territory (Self Government) Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act) to grant the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly (the Assembly) the power to determine its own numbers without requiring the Commonwealth to amend its legislation to enact any changes to the size of the Assembly.

The Act currently requires the Assembly to pass a resolution and then have the Commonwealth make regulations to change the size of the Assembly from the specified number of members under subsection 8(2) of the Act.

The Bill provides that any enactment made by the Assembly for the purpose of determining the size of the Assembly will additionally require the approval of a two thirds majority of the total number of members of the Assembly to come into effect.

This Bill does not change the size of the Assembly. It amends the mechanism by which the size of the Assembly can be changed. This Bill effectively removes the Commonwealth’s role in the process of amending the size of the Assembly, and provides the Assembly the power to independently fulfil this function.

This Bill acknowledges the capacity of the Assembly to run its own affairs by granting it increased legislative autonomy, consistent with the success of its self-governance.

Run for your lives.


UPDATE by Johnboy 13/02/13 17:13: Chief Minister Gallagher has expressed her joy at this development:

I am very pleased that the Commonwealth has responded to my request and today tabled the amendments to the Self Government Act which are necessary to allow the ACT Government to set its own size,” the Chief Minister said.

The Amendment was also a recommendation of the review of the Self Government Act by the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure.

“The size of the Legislative Assembly is properly a matter for the Assembly to decide – in consultation with the ACT community and reflects the self government arrangements that have been in place since 1989.

“An increase to the size of the Assembly will still require a 2/3 majority and remains the ACT Government’s preferred approach to ensure that there is bipartisan support for any change to the Assembly’s size,” the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister has also commissioned review by an expert panel of the size of the Assembly which is being chaired by the Electoral Commissioner. The panel is due to report at the end of March 2013.

“I hope that the Federal Parliament is now able to see the amendments passed prior to the Federal Election in September,” the Chief Minister concluded.

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15 Responses to Simon Crean hands keys to the Asylum to Katy G
#1
Beau Locks1:05 pm, 13 Feb 13

What’s wrong this power being devolved to the ACT? Every other state can change the number of reps it has in its parliament. Not sure about the NT, but they’ve got 25 MLAs and a much smaller population. Perhaps the silly thing here is that this power hasn’t be vested in a statutory authority, much the same way that the AEC determines electoral boundaries etc. This should be entirely out of the political arena.

Personally I don’t think this goes far enough. Assuming the feds haven’t changed our pez maximum number of Ministers (a paltry five), then they should. We should also be able to determine the number of electorates we have.

Quite regardless, this won’t really change anything for the foreseeable future: it’s in the interests of both the Tories and the ALP to keep the composition pretty much as it is. More MLAs would increase the chance of Greens or independents getting over the line.

And anyway, why is this handing the keys of the asylum to Chief Katy? It’ll require two thirds of the MLAs to change anything, which effectively means a consensus between both major parties.

#2
Pork Hunt1:58 pm, 13 Feb 13

The NT probably has more members per population because of the size of the joint. They don’t all live within 25 k’s of each other.

#3
Chop712:00 pm, 13 Feb 13

oh gawd,
So how much will this “freedom” cost us?

#4
PantsMan2:08 pm, 13 Feb 13

Chop71 said :

oh gawd,
So how much will this “freedom” cost us?

PantsMan said :

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

~Thomas Paine

#5
MERC6002:12 pm, 13 Feb 13

What fantastic news. Has realy made my day. Let Kate go for broke and get a real rolled gold government. Tassy have 15 in the lower house, with another 15 in the upper house. As peoples keep saying we deserve what the states have, lets go for a upper house as well ! Has anyone thought of this ?, coz after all the states have ‘em, except Qld. And how about a titular head ? Tassy have one. Even the NT have one ( called the administrator , I think ). This would mean our ex pollies would not have to leave here and lord it up over some bloody rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

#6
caf2:44 pm, 13 Feb 13

About time. It’s been obvious for years both that we need a larger ministry, which requires more MLAs to be workable; and that the current arrangement of differently-sized electorates is less than optimal.

Bring on 5 by 5.

#7
dungfungus3:19 pm, 13 Feb 13

MERC600 said :

What fantastic news. Has realy made my day. Let Kate go for broke and get a real rolled gold government.

Tassy have 15 in the lower house, with another 15 in the upper house. As peoples keep saying we deserve what the states have, lets go for a upper house as well !

Has anyone thought of this ?, coz after all the states have ‘em, except Qld. And how about a titular head ? Tassy have one. Even the NT have one ( called the administrator , I think ). This would mean our ex pollies would not have to leave here and lord it up over some bloody rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

Population of ACT approx. 370,000
Population of TAS approx. 515,000.
Get a grip on yourself.

#8
johnboy3:38 pm, 13 Feb 13

Hobart also has a council and a lord mayor no?

#9
Matt_Watts3:40 pm, 13 Feb 13

johnboy said :

Hobart also has a council and a lord mayor no?

Hobart does indeed have a Lord Mayor. The Lord Mayor of Hobart actually started the 2011 Nash Hash Red Dress Run in Hobart. He was wearing red knickers and everything.

http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2011/02/25/209741_tasmania-news.html

#10
jase!3:44 pm, 13 Feb 13

MERC600 said :

What fantastic news. Has realy made my day. Let Kate go for broke and get a real rolled gold government.

Tassy have 15 in the lower house, with another 15 in the upper house. As peoples keep saying we deserve what the states have, lets go for a upper house as well !

tassie has 25 in the lower house (5 people from 5 electorates) in addition to the 15 old farts in gods waiting room

#11
thebrownstreak694:22 pm, 13 Feb 13

So technically we could ALL be MLAs! Sweet!

#12
Roundhead894:26 pm, 13 Feb 13

MERC600 said :

What fantastic news. Has realy made my day. Let Kate go for broke and get a real rolled gold government.

Tassy have 15 in the lower house, with another 15 in the upper house. As peoples keep saying we deserve what the states have, lets go for a upper house as well !

Has anyone thought of this ?, coz after all the states have ‘em, except Qld. And how about a titular head ? Tassy have one. Even the NT have one ( called the administrator , I think ). This would mean our ex pollies would not have to leave here and lord it up over some bloody rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

An ACT Administrator? I suggest Ted Egan who was NT Administrator. He lived here and was a visiting fellow at the ANU before moving north.

#13
PantsMan9:55 pm, 13 Feb 13

Roundhead89 said :

An ACT Administrator? I suggest Ted Egan who was NT Administrator. He lived here and was a visiting fellow at the ANU before moving north.

No, as Justice Gummow said once – with disdain – the ACT has:

PantsMan said :

A headless Executive really. Anyhow, we will not go there.

#14
Mysteryman10:16 pm, 13 Feb 13

MERC600 said :

What fantastic news. Has realy made my day. Let Kate go for broke and get a real rolled gold government.

Tassy have 15 in the lower house, with another 15 in the upper house. As peoples keep saying we deserve what the states have, lets go for a upper house as well !

Has anyone thought of this ?, coz after all the states have ‘em, except Qld. And how about a titular head ? Tassy have one. Even the NT have one ( called the administrator , I think ). This would mean our ex pollies would not have to leave here and lord it up over some bloody rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

You would be one of the few people who wants Stanhopeless to return. A far better outcome for the people of the ACT is for you go and “lord it up” with him, and leave the territory to those with some insight.

#15
Deckard10:25 pm, 13 Feb 13

Matt_Watts said :

johnboy said :

Hobart also has a council and a lord mayor no?

Hobart does indeed have a Lord Mayor. The Lord Mayor of Hobart actually started the 2011 Nash Hash Red Dress Run in Hobart. He was wearing red knickers and everything.

http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2011/02/25/209741_tasmania-news.html

So Matt Watts for Lord Mayor of Canberra? As long as he runs in red knickers… ;)

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