SOUTH AUSTRALIA]

No. 3

 

 

MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS

 

OF THE

 

 

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

_______

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY  3  MAY  2006

 

 

 

   1.

Council met pursuant to adjournment.  The President (The Hon. R. K. Sneath) took the Chair.

                 The President read prayers.

 

Meeting of
Council.

   2.

The Hon. J. M. Gazzola brought up the First Report, 2006 of the Legislative Review Committee.

Legislative
Review
Committee -
First Report, 2006.

 

   3.

The Minister for Police, by leave, tabled a copy of a Ministerial Statement made by the Premier (The Hon. M. D. Rann, M.P.) concerning Sexual Assault and Rape Law Reform.

 

Ministerial
Statement Tabled.

   4.

In accordance with Sessional Standing Order, the President called on Members to make Statements on Matters of Interest.

 

Statements on
Matters of Interest.

   5.

The Hon. N. Xenophon, pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act 1988.

                 Question put and passed.

                 Bill introduced and read a first time.

                 The Hon. N. Xenophon then moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

                 On motion of the Hon. J. M. Gazzola, the debate was adjourned until Wednesday next.

 

Criminal Law
(Sentencing)
(Victim Impact)
Amendment Bill.

   6.

The Hon. N. Xenophon, pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Road Traffic Act 1961; and to make a related amendment to the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935.

                 Question put and passed.

                 Bill introduced and read a first time.

                 The Hon. N. Xenophon then moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

                 On motion of the Hon. J. M. Gazzola, the debate was adjourned until Wednesday next.

 

Road Traffic
(Penalties)
Amendment Bill.

   7.

The Hon. S. M. Kanck, pursuant to notice, moved - That he have leave to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Upper South East Dryland Salinity and Flood Management Act 2002.

                 Question put and passed.

                 Bill introduced and read a first time.

                 The Hon. S. M. Kanck then moved - That this Bill be now read a second time.

                 On motion of the Hon. I. K. Hunter, the debate was adjourned until Wednesday next.

 

Upper South East
Dryland
and Flood
Management
(Natural Resources
Committee)
Amendment Bill.

   8.

The Hon. R. I. Lucas, pursuant to notice, moved -

    I.      That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into and report upon all matters relating to the issue of the collection of property taxes by State and Local Government, including sewerage charges by SA Water, and in particular -

(a)     concerns about the current level of property taxies and options for moderating their impact and the impact of any future increases;

(b)    concerns about inequities in the land tax collection system, including the impact on investment and the rental market;

(c)     concerns about inequities in the current property valuation system and options to improve the efficiency and accuracy of the valuation process;

(d)    consideration of alternative taxation options to taxes based on property valuations;

(e)     concerns about the current level of council rates and options for moderating their impact and the impact of any future increases; and

(f)     any other related matters.

   II.      That Standing Order No. 389 be so far suspended as to enable the Chairperson of the Committee to have a deliberative vote only.

III.      That this Council permits the Select Committee to authorise the disclosure or publication, as it sees fit, of any evidence or documents presented to the Committee prior to such evidence being reported to the Council.

IV.      That Standing Order No. 396 be suspended to enable strangers to be admitted when the Select Committee is examining witnesses unless the Committee otherwise resolves, but they shall be excluded when the Committee is deliberating; and

   V.      That the evidence given to the previous Legislative Council Select Committee on the Collection of Property Taxes by State and Local Government, including Sewerage Charges by SA Water, be tabled and referred to the Select Committee.

                 Debate ensued.

                 On motion of the Hon. I. K. Hunter, the debate was adjourned until Wednesday next.

 

Collection of
Property Taxes by
State and Local
Government,
including Sewerage
Charges by
SA Water -
Motion for Select Committee on.

 

   9.

The Hon. R. I. Lucas, pursuant to notice, moved -

    I.      That a Select Committee be appointed to inquire into and report upon issues relating to allegedly unlawful practices raised by the Auditor-General in his Annual Report, 2003-2004, and, in particular -

(a)     all issues related to the operation of the Crown Solicitor’s Trust Account and the $5 million “interagency loan” between the Department for Administrative and Information Services and the Department for Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation;

(b)    whether the practices were in fact unlawful;

(c)     the extent to which these practices have been used in other Departments;

(d)    issues of natural justice surrounding the treatment of Ms. Kate Lennon;

(e)     why agencies were unable to meet statutory reporting deadlines;

(f)     suggestions as to how the management of unspent funds should be approached in the future; and

(g)    all other related matters.

   II.      That Standing Order No. 389 be so far suspended as to enable the Chairperson of the Committee to have a deliberative vote only.

III.      That this Council permits the Select Committee to authorise the disclosure or publication, as it sees fit, of any evidence or documents presented to the Committee prior to such evidence being reported to the Council.

IV.      That Standing Order No. 396 be suspended to enable strangers to be admitted when the Select Committee is examining witnesses unless the Committee otherwise resolves, but they shall be excluded when the Committee is deliberating; and

   V.      That the evidence given to the previous Legislative Council Select Committee on Allegedly Unlawful Practices raised in the Auditor-General’s Report 2003-2004, be tabled and referred to the Select Committee.

                 On motion of the Hon. I. K. Hunter, the debate was adjourned until Wednesday next.

 

Allegedly Unlawful
Practices Raised
in the Auditor-
General’s Report 2003-2004  -
Motion for Select
Committee on.

 

10.

The Hon. R. I. Lucas, pursuant to notice, moved -

    I.      That a Select Committee of the Legislative Council be appointed to inquire into and report upon the following matters -

(a)     Whether the Premier or any Minister, ministerial adviser or public servant participated in any activity or discussions concerning -

      (i)      the possible appointment of Mr. Ralph Clarke to a Government board or position; or

     (ii)      the means of facilitating recovery by Mr. Clarke of costs incurred by him in connection with a defamation action between Mr. Clarke and Attorney-General Atkinson.

(The activity and discussions and events surrounding them are referred to in these terms as “the issues”.)

Atkinson/
Ashbourne/Clarke
Affair -
Motion for Select
Committee on.

 

(b)    If so, the content and nature of such activity or discussions.

(c)     Whether the Premier or any Minister or ministerial adviser authorised any such discussions or whether the Premier or any Minister or ministerial adviser was aware of the discussions at the time they were occurring or subsequently.

(d)    Whether the conduct (including acts of commission or omission) of the Premier or any Minister or ministerial adviser or public servant contravened any law or Code of Conduct; or whether such conduct was improper or failed to comply with appropriate standards of probity and integrity.

(e)     Whether the Premier or any Minister or ministerial adviser made any statement in relation to the issues which was misleading, inaccurate or dishonest in any material particular.

(f)     The failure of the Premier, Deputy Premier, the Attorney-General and the then Minister for Police to report the issue in the first instance to the Anti-Corruption Branch of the SA Police.

(g)    Whether the actions taken by the Premier and Ministers in relation to the issues were appropriate and consistent with proper standards of probity and public administration and, in particular -

      (i)      why no public disclosure of the issues was made until June 2003;

     (ii)      why Mr. Randall Ashbourne was reprimanded in December 2002 and whether that action was appropriate;

    (iii)      whether the appointment of Mr. Warren McCann to investigate the issues was appropriate;

   (iv)      whether actions taken in response to the report prepared by Mr. McCann were appropriate.

(h)    What processes and investigations the Auditor-General undertook and whether the Auditor-General was furnished with adequate and appropriate material upon which to base the conclusions reflected in his letter dated 20 December 2002 to the Premier.

(i)      Whether adequate steps were taken by Mr. McCann, the SA Police and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to obtain from Mr. Clarke information which was relevant to the issues.

(j)      Whether the processes undertaken in response to the issues up to and including the provision of the report prepared by Mr. McCann were reasonable and appropriate in the circumstances.

(k)     Whether there were any material deficiencies in the manner in which Mr. McCann conducted his investigation of the issues.

(l)      Whether it would have been appropriate to have made public the report prepared by Mr. McCann.

(m)    The matters investigated and all the evidence and submissions obtained by and any recommendations made by the Anti-Corruption Branch of the SA Police.

(n)    Whether Mr. Ashbourne, during the course of his ordinary employment, engaged in any (and, if so, what) activity or discussions to advance the personal interests of the Attorney-General and, if so, whether any Minister had knowledge of, or authorised, such activity or discussion.

(o)    Whether Mr. Ashbourne undertook any and, if so, what actions to “rehabilitate” Mr. Clarke, or the former Member for Price, Mr. Murray DeLaine, or any other person into the Australian Labor Party and, if so, whether such actions were undertaken with the knowledge, authority or approval of the Premier or any Minister.

(p)    The propriety of the Attorney-General contacting journalists covering the Ashbourne case in the District Court during the trial and the nature of those conversations.

 

 

(q)    With reference to the contents of the statement issued on 1 July 2005 by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Stephen Pallaris, Q.C. -

      (i)      what was the substance of the “complaint about the conduct of the Premier’s legal adviser, Mr. Alexandrides”;

     (ii)      what was the substance of the “telephone call made [by Mr. Alexandrides] to the prosecutor involved in the Ashbourne case”;

    (iii)      what were the “serious issues of inappropriate conduct” relating to Mr. Alexandrides;

   (iv)      whether the responses of the Premier, the Attorney-General or any Minister or Mr. Alexandrides or any other person to the issues mentioned in the Director of Public Prosecutions’ statement were appropriate and timely; and

    (v)      whether any person made any statement concerning the issues referred to in the Director of Public Prosecutions’ statement which was misleading, inaccurate or dishonest in any material particular.

(r)     Whether it would be appropriate in future to refer any credible allegation of improper conduct on the part of a Minister or ministerial adviser (that has not already been referred to the police) to the Solicitor-General in the first instance for investigation and advice.

(s)     If the reference of such an allegation to the Solicitor-General would not be appropriate (in general or in a particular case) or would not be possible because of the Solicitor-General’s absence or for some other reason, who would be an alternative person to whom it would be appropriate to refer such an allegation in the first instance for investigation and advice.

(t)     Whether Mr. Alexandrides assisted in framing the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry proposed by the Government in the resolution of the House of Assembly passed on 5 July 2005.

 

 

(u)    What action should be taken in relation to any of the matters arising out of the consideration by the Inquiry of these terms of reference.

The Select Committee must not, in the course of its inquiry or Report, purport to make any finding of criminal or civil liability.

   II.      That Standing Order No. 389 be so far suspended as to enable the Chairperson of the Committee to have a deliberative vote only.

III.      That this Council permits the Select Committee to authorise the disclosure or publication, as it sees fit, of any evidence or documents presented to the Committee prior to such evidence being reported to the Council.

IV.      That Standing Order No. 396 be suspended to enable strangers to be admitted when the Select Committee is examining witnesses unless the Committee otherwise resolves, but they shall be excluded when the Committee is deliberating; and

   V.      That the evidence given to the previous Legislative Council Select Committee on the Atkinson/Ashbourne/Clarke Affair, be tabled and referred to the Select Committee.

                 On motion of the Hon. I. K. Hunter, the debate was adjourned until Wednesday next.

 

 

11.

On the Order of the Day being read for the adjourned debate on the question - That the Address in Reply, as read, be adopted:

                 Debate resumed.

                 And the Hon. R. I. Lucas having obtained leave to conclude his remarks, the debate was adjourned until next day of sitting.

 

Address in Reply.

12.

Ordered - That the remaining Orders of the Day (Government Business) be Orders of the Day for next day of sitting.

 

Postponement
of Business.

13.

Council adjourned at three minutes to six o’clock until tomorrow at fifteen minutes past two o’clock.

 

Adjournment.

 

_________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Members present during any part of the sitting:

 

 

 

The Hon. A. M. Bressington

The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins

The Hon. A. L. Evans

The Hon. B. V. Finnigan

The Hon. G. E. Gago

The Hon. J. M. Gazzola

The Hon. P. Holloway

 

The Hon. D.G.E. Hood

The Hon. I. K. Hunter

The Hon. S. M. Kanck

The Hon. R. D. Lawson

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink

The Hon. R. I. Lucas

The Hon. M. C. Parnell

 

The Hon. D. W. Ridgway

The Hon. C. V. Schaefer

The Hon. T. J. Stephens

The Hon. S. G. Wade

The Hon. R. P. Wortley

The Hon. N. Xenophon

The Hon. C. Zollo