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Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Amendment (Disallowance and Amendment Power of the Commonwealth) Bill

By johnboy - 30 September 2010 16

The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury is taking a traditional Speasker’s role by applauding the introduction into the Senate of legislation to stop the Commonwealth over ruling ACT Legislation by virtue of a disallowance motion.

“The Australian Greens are to be congratulated for showing respect for democracy and acting to uphold the principle of self government which was granted to the ACT in 1989.

“The ACT is a mature and developed democracy with a capable and accountable legislature. There is consensus in the ACT Assembly that the Assembly has the right to make its own laws free from the threat of an arbitrary veto by the federal executive,” Mr Rattenbury said.

The Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Amendment (Disallowance and Amendment Power of the Commonwealth) Bill 2009 that Senator Brown announced today will remove the ability of the Governor-General to veto any ACT law. The Bill is in addition to the Greens Restoring Territory Rights (Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation) Bill also announced recently which removes the prohibition on Territories legislating with respect to euthanasia.

Here in the bunker we wonder how a 2009 Bill can be introduced in 2010. But we would like to point out that without constitutional change any law passed can be amended in future.

Having said that it will be much harder to get up than a disallowance motion.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Amendment (Disallowance and Amendment Power of the Commonwealth) Bill
sepi 1:37 pm 01 Oct 10

The previous 800 ACT public servants would have had little to do beyond holding their hands out to the Fed Ministers for funding.

The current lot are actually trying to do the work themselves.

PM 12:38 pm 01 Oct 10

johnboy said :

well no.

A Bill requires passage through two houses. While disallowance can be moved in one. And once notice of disallowance is given it takes place automatically IIRC 14 sitting days later unless debate is brought on and the motion defeated. So you need one less vote and only one chamber to disallow.

Granted (althought I thought it was 15 days), but as I said a lot of that is red tape. It is a simplified position, but if parliament wants to make a law, it can make one because it’s empowered to under the Constitution. If MPs collectively feel strongly enough about any ACT matter, whether it be gay marriage or taxis, they can make a law.

It is also true as caf says that the PM may advise the GG to disallow in certain circumstances, but such instances are rare; the PM needs to maintain the confidence of the lower house, after all.

housebound 11:58 am 01 Oct 10

I continue to be amazed that so many Canberrans, who should know better, are happy to be governed by a bureaucracy acting without the direct oversight of a legislature.

I would say that’s the situation now – we’re no better off than before self-government. The bureaucracy still runs the place, and under the current Labor-Greens regime there is little accountability or scrutiny of their actions. This forum has complained before of minister just running the departmental story on issues. Ministers cover their servant’s a***s, and the Assembly seems to be impotent, even though it is s minority government.

And 800 vs 23,000 – what are they all doing, and how come things don’t run better?

caf 12:28 am 01 Oct 10

Anna Key: Right, but as Johnboy points out above, that would require the passage of legislation through both houses. Disallowance, on the other hand, is currently possible simply on the advice of the PM to the Governor-General.

Anna Key 9:39 pm 30 Sep 10

But wouldn’t s122 of the Constitution still allow the Cwth parliament to do what it likes to the territories

justin heywood 8:17 pm 30 Sep 10

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster said :

There are currently 23,000 ACT government public servants – almost a tenth of the population. Before self government we only had 800.

Is that true? No wonder the place runs so well!

Gungahlin Al 7:30 pm 30 Sep 10

Jim Jones said :

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster said :

… a lot of lazy pubes getting massive salaries, surfing the Net, putting in their footy tips, bludging and attending cocktail parties

What’s it like in your fantasy-stereotype world?

Clearly no staff member in any “real” workplace would dare do such mundane things as footy tips or send-offs. In the world according to oyster the workplace is like a scene out of The Island…

johnboy 6:39 pm 30 Sep 10

well no.

A Bill requires passage through two houses. While disallowance can be moved in one. And once notice of disallowance is given it takes place automatically IIRC 14 sitting days later unless debate is brought on and the motion defeated. So you need one less vote and only one chamber to disallow.

PM 6:27 pm 30 Sep 10

Sure, it would mean more red tape, but the numbers in parliament on any particular issue remain the numbers in parliament, along with the constitutional realities. I mean, pretty soon the Opposition is going to introduce legislation to override a specific law of Queensland – a state – and we’ve got small man syndrome because we’re a territory.

This is an act of pure populism.

Jim Jones 6:01 pm 30 Sep 10

A Noisy Noise Annoys An Oyster said :

… a lot of lazy pubes getting massive salaries, surfing the Net, putting in their footy tips, bludging and attending cocktail parties

What’s it like in your fantasy-stereotype world?

A Noisy Noise Annoys 5:40 pm 30 Sep 10

We don’t need to abolish self government, just take a hacksaw to the massively bloated ACT bureaucracy. There are currently 23,000 ACT government public servants – almost a tenth of the population. Before self government we only had 800. That’s a lot of lazy pubes getting massive salaries, surfing the Net, putting in their footy tips, bludging and attending cocktail parties while the cost of living (especially electricity) just keeps going up.

WillowJim 5:06 pm 30 Sep 10

bitzermaloney said :

Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to overturn the self-government legislation?

I continue to be amazed that so many Canberrans, who should know better, are happy to be governed by a bureaucracy acting without the direct oversight of a legislature.

bitzermaloney 4:36 pm 30 Sep 10

p1 said :

Overturning Self Government would only be good if the level of time and funding the commonwealth put in matched what it did up until the ’80s.

Could it be worse?

– Round our way we’re lucky to get the ovals, nature stips mown once every three months.
– John seems more interested in putting up “works of art” than doing anything slightly productive… like investing in reliable & efficent public tranport
– If Australia win the FIFA World Cup we’ll end up with a long term 27,000 seat stadium next to a 25,000 seat stadium…. surely for the $45m(+) couldn’t the current one be upgraded? I recall A.Barr ranting on that the current one is “End of Life”? Who builds a a new house next to their exisiting one because it is ‘End of Life”? A load of bollocks that happens when the world is run by accountants.

ACT Labor are only to blame…

– Speaking of Bruce Satdium… how much did Kate’s crew spend on upgrading it… $18m? Then weeks before the 2000 Olympics the turf had to be re-laid because it had be designed by a mob elsewhere that forgot that Canberra gets frost.
– When Kate was the head-honcho they went about putting tar into he cracks on the roads to stop them getting worse, which the motorcycle fraternity enjoyed on their ride to work on a frosty winter morning and then having to dodgy the cracks and the non-motorcyle aware drivers.

Will abolishing self-gov prevent any of this? Probably not, but is the middle level of management really necessary?

p1 4:10 pm 30 Sep 10

bitzermaloney said :

Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to overturn the self-government legislation?

I guess Shane woud then be out of a job, so wouldn’t support it, not to mention the thousands that now live here who hadn’t experienced life in the ACT before MLA’s ruled the roost.

Overturning Self Government would only be good if the level of time and funding the commonwealth put in matched what it did up until the ’80s.

bitzermaloney 3:46 pm 30 Sep 10

Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to overturn the self-government legislation?

I guess Shane woud then be out of a job, so wouldn’t support it, not to mention the thousands that now live here who hadn’t experienced life in the ACT before MLA’s ruled the roost.

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