VOTES AND PROCEEDINGS
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
TUESDAY 9 AUGUST 1994
1 Meeting of House
The House met pursuant to adjournment. The Speaker (Hon. G.M. Gunn) took the Chair and read prayers.
2 Speaker's Statement - Disclosure of Committee evidence
The Speaker made a statement about the disclosure of evidence taken by the Standing Committees as follows:
Following the raising of a point of order about the disclosure of evidence taken by the Standing Committees established under the Parliamentary Committees Act, I believe that it raises a number of issues and it is appropriate for me to give a ruling on the matter.
Select Committees of the House are governed by Standing Orders and in particular Standing Order 339 provides ‑
"The evidence taken by any Select Committee of the House, and documents presented to that Committee which have not been reported to the House, may not be disclosed or published by any Member of that Committee or by any other person".
Under recent amendments to the Parliamentary Committees Act, Standing Committees are also required to conduct their business in accordance with the Standing Orders.
However, s.17(4)(b) of the Act provides that 'A Committee may, if it thinks fit, at any time prior to making a final report on a matter referred to it.... publish a document relating to the matter', while s.26 provides that 'Except where the Committee otherwise determines, members of the public may be present at meetings of the Committee while the Committee is examining witnesses but may not be present while the Committee is deliberating".
At least one of the Committees has used these provisions to suggest that any evidence taken by the Committee or documents presented to it are public and may be disclosed without any further permission.
There have also been several disclosures in the House by Members, presumably on the same basis.
My examination of those two sections of the Act have led me to the view that the Committee was mistaken in acting in that way. That view is reinforced by the new provision in s.24(5)(a) that Committees are to conduct their business in accordance with the Standing Orders to the extent that they apply.
I have taken the opportunity of discussing the matter with my colleague, the President of the Legislative Council, and he agrees with my view.
I therefore rule that evidence given before a Standing Committee of the Parliament, or a document presented to the Committee may not be raised in the House, before the Committee has reported on the reference, unless the Committee has authorised publication pursuant to s.17(4)(b).
It follows from that ruling that my view is that disclosure outside the House is subject to a similar prohibition, although that is a matter for the Committee and I will not entertain complaints about disclosure outside the House unless it is brought to the House's attention by way of a report from a Committee.
Let me finish by saying that my concern is for the continued good working of the Standing Committees. The principles under which Select Committees have operated have worked extremely well and has led to a constructive bi‑partisan approach which I would like to see followed in the Standing Committees.
3 Petitions Nos 23 and 24
The Clerk announced that the following Members had lodged Petitions for presentation:
23 Mr Clarke, from 275 residents of South Australia, requesting that the House urge the Government not to allow general Sunday trading where restrictions currently apply.
24 Mrs Kotz, from 805 residents of South Australia, requesting that the House urge the Government not to allow extended retail trading hours.
The following Papers were tabled:
By the Premier (Hon. D.C. Brown) -
Disciplinary Appeals Tribunal - Report, 1993-94
By the Deputy Premier (Hon. S.J. Baker) -
Liquor Licensing Act - Regulations - Dry Areas -
By the Minister for Industrial Affairs (Hon. G.A. Ingerson) -
Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration (Commonwealth Provisions) Act - Regulations - Affiliated Associations
Industrial and Employee Relations Act - Regulations -
By the Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Local Government Relations (Hon. J.K.G. Oswald) -
District Council of East Torrens - By-law No. 17 - Dogs
By the Minister for Primary Industries (Hon. D.S. Baker) -
A Review of the Gulf St. Vincent Prawn Fishery - Consultants Report, 1 July 1994
By the Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources (Hon. D.C. Wotton) -
Beverage Container Act - Regulations - Exemption - Two Dog Alcoholic Lemonade
By the Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education (Hon. R.B. Such) -
University of South Australia -
Financial Statement, 1993
"New Outlook", June 1994.
Questions without notice were asked.
Ordered - That the period for asking questions without notice be extended by five minutes.
Questions without notice resumed.
6 Grievance debate
The Speaker proposed - That the House note grievances.
Question put and passed.
7 Address in Reply
Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the question - That the Address be adopted.
8 Message from the Legislative Council
The following Message from the Legislative Council was received and read:
Motor Vehicles (Learners' Permits and Probationary Licences)
Amendment Bill Message No. 3
MR SPEAKER - The Legislative Council has passed the Bill transmitted herewith, titled an Act to amend the Motor Vehicles Act 1959, to which it desires the concurrence of the House of Assembly.
Legislative Council, 9 August 1994 H.P.K. Dunn, PRESIDENT
Bill read a first time.
The Deputy Premier moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.
Ordered, on motion of Mrs Kotz, that the debate be adjourned until tomorrow.
9 Address in Reply
Debate (interrupted by receipt of the foregoing Message) resumed.
Ordered, on motion of the Minister for Tourism (Hon. G.A. Ingerson), that the debate be further adjourned until tomorrow.
The Minister for Tourism moved - That the House do now adjourn.
Question put and passed.
House adjourned at 9.36 p.m. until tomorrow at 2.00 p.m.
MOTIONS WHICH NOTICE WAS GIVEN
For Thursday 11 August 1994
Notices of Motion: Government Business-
The Treasurer to move - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Statutes Amendment (Closure of Superannuation Schemes) Act 1994.
The Treasurer to move - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to provide a contributory superannuation scheme for persons employed in the public sector; and for other purposes.
Notice of Motion: Private Members Bills/ Committees/ Regulations-
Mr Clarke to move - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Shop Trading Hours Act 1977.
Notices of Motion: Other Motions-
Mrs Kotz to move - That this House notes the outstanding achievements of South Australian sportswoman Libby Kosmala at recently held world championships in shooting events at Lenz, Austria on 26 July 1994 and congratulates her for achieving the world record score in the air rifle-prone open event amongst a field of 25 shooters from 26 countries.
Mr Clarke to move - That this House condemns the Federal Leader of the Opposition, Mr Downer for his recent suggestion that a future Federal Liberal Government would repeal the Commonwealth Native Title Act and calls on the Premier to urge his Federal Parliamentary colleagues in their review of their Party's policy on Aboriginal Affairs, to accept that the maintenance of the Native Title Act is absolutely essential to the process of reconciliation between black and white Australians.
Mr Quirke to move - That this House congratulates the Member for Unley for his courageous stand against the 'slash, burn and bury' economic policies of the Government, commends his plan for Government backbenchers to ensure Government promises are not broken and draws to attention that the Government has already abandoned major promises by cutting expenditure on education and health by a total of $105 million dollars and slashing 11,500 jobs from the public sector.
Mr Quirke to move - That this House -
(a) condemns the statement by the Member for Lee, as reported in The Advertiser on 13 July 1994, that 'I am against single mother's benefits after three children. After three they should be operated on';
(b) regrets the failure of the Premier to discipline the Member; and
(c) condemns the Premier for attempting to excuse the comments by claiming they were the result of media misunderstanding.
Present during the day - All Members except Mr Ashenden.
CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY