SOUTH AUSTRALIA]

No. 67

 

 

MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS

 

OF THE

 

 

LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

_______

 

 

 

MONDAY  12  SEPTEMBER 2005

 

 

 

   1.

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

                 The President read prayers.

 

Meeting of
Council.

 

   2.

The Minister for Industry and Trade (The Hon. P. Holloway), by leave, without notice, moved - That the sitting of the Council be not suspended during the continuation of the Conference on the Statutes Amendment (Aggravated Offences) Bill.

                 Question put and passed.

 

Statutes Amendment
(Aggravated
Offences) Bill.

 

   3.

The Minister for Industry and Trade, by leave, moved - That the Legislative Council expresses its deep regret at the death of the Hon. Ted Chapman, former Member of the House of Assembly and Minister of the Crown, and places on record its appreciation of his distinguished public service and that, as a mark of respect to his memory, the sitting of the Council be suspended until the ringing of the bells.

                 And being supported by the Hon. R. I. Lucas, the Hon. I. Gilfillan, the Hon. R. D. Lawson and the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation:

                 Motion carried in silence, Members standing in their places.

 

Death of
Hon. Ted Chapman.

 

   4.

At three o’clock the sitting was suspended until the ringing of the bells.

                 At eighteen minutes past three o’clock the sitting was resumed.

 

Suspension and
Resumption of
Sitting.

 

   5.

Answers to Questions on Notice Nos. 143, 144, 184, 186 to 189, 194, 207, 209, 211, 214, 227, 230, 253, 259, 262 and 263 received this day were tabled by the President who directed that they be distributed and printed in Hansard.

 

Answers to
Questions
on Notice.

 

    6.

The following Papers were laid upon the Table, viz.:

        By the President -

Report of the Auditor-General, July 2005, Examination, pursuant to Section 39 of the Passenger Transport Act 1994, of Certain Bus Contracts and the Probity of Processes Leading up to the Awarding of the Contracts.

                 Register of Members’ Interests - June 2005 - Registrar’s Statement.

                          Ordered - That the Statement be printed.  (Paper No. 134A)

                 Members’ Travel Expenditure, 2004-2005, pursuant to Members of Parliament Travel Entitlement Rules, 1983.

 

Papers.

 

 

        By the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (The Hon. T. G. Roberts) -

                 Upper South East Dryland Salinity and Flood Management Act 2002 - Quarterly Report, 1 April 2005 - 30 June 2005.

                 Miniature Pony Safety Code of Practice - Recreational Services (Limitation of Liability) Act 2002.

 

 

 

    7.

The Minister for Industry and Trade brought up the Special Report of the Select Committee on the Atkinson/Ashbourne/Clarke Affair.

 

Select Committee
on the Atkinson/
Ashbourne/Clarke
Affair - Special
Report.

 

 

    8.

The President made the following Statement:

                 I have become increasingly concerned about the practice of “playing out” in the media Committee inquiries.

                 A Committee system should be seen to enhance the functions of Parliament, and it is imperative for opportunities to be created for Members to consider matters in an environment free from the adversarial cauldron of the Chamber.

                 Since the 1970’s, there has been a tendency to suspend Standing Orders to enable Committee inquiries to be conducted in the public forum.  There is a commonly held belief that the public should be seen to be fully informed in our open democratic society.  In the past, Standing Order No. 396 was not required to be suspended as Strangers “may be admitted but shall be excluded on the vote of any one Member”.  This Standing Order is now suspended to provide for all meetings to be public “unless the Committee as a whole resolves”.  Therefore it is dependant on a resolution of a Committee for certain evidence to be received in camera and not to publish immediately submissions and documents that have been Tabled.

                 I am disturbed at more recent developments where some Members are courting the media and crossing the fine line, by disclosing evidence and making comments outside of a Committee which may pre-empt the Committees’ deliberations.  Whilst Members are strictly forbidden by Standing Orders from disclosing and discussing the Committees’ evidence in the Council before Committees have reported, there is a wider interpretation of this Standing Order which was never envisaged in early days before the institution of the mass media as we know it today.

                 For some Members to debate or release evidence and divulge deliberations or details of the inner workings of Committees through the media prior to the Council having had the opportunity to receive and debate them could be deemed a contempt of the Council and for that matter it shows disrespect for the whole Parliamentary institution to conduct such discussions and debates on radio and television.  An extension of such practices will see the Committee system take on an identity of its own separate from and in competition with the Council.  This I do not intend to allow.  Members should be reminded that Committees are but servants of the Houses of Parliament.

                 The ability of Committees to obtain quality evidence and information may be impeded if witnesses do not feel secure about submitting sensitive information which they fear may otherwise be leaked or used for political expediency.

                 I feel impelled to draw this to your attention.  The Committees are but a microcosm of the Parliament and the gradual erosion of the true concept of what Committees of Inquiry are about will not only have an affect on their workings, but indeed the whole institution of Parliament.

 

President’s
Statement -
Conduct of
Committees.

 

   9.

The Minister for Emergency Services (The Hon. C. Zollo) tabled a copy of a Ministerial Statement made by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (The Hon. R. J. McEwen, M.P.) concerning Dolphin Deaths in Pilchard Fishery.

 

Ministerial
Statement Tabled.

 

10.

The Minister for Industry and Trade tabled a copy of a Ministerial Statement made by the Treasurer (The Hon. K. O. Foley, M.P.) concerning Superannuation Variation Regulations 2005.

 

Ministerial
Statement Tabled.

 

11.

The Minister for Industry and Trade tabled a copy of a Ministerial Statement made by the Treasurer concerning the Superannuation Funds Management Corporation of South Australia (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill.

 

Ministerial
Statement Tabled.

 

12.

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, according to order, moved - That the Children’s Protection (Keeping Them Safe) Amendment Bill be now read a second time.

                 On motion of the Hon. R. D. Lawson, the debate was adjourned until next day of sitting.

 

Children’s
Protection
(Keeping Them Safe)
Amendment Bill.

 

 

13.

Ordered - That Orders of the Day (Government Business) No. 2 and No. 3 be Orders of the Day for next day of sitting.

 

Postponement
of Business.

 

14.

Order of the Day read for the adjourned debate on the question - That the Statutes Amendment (Relationships) Bill be now read a second time.

                 Debate resumed.

                 On motion of the Hon. A. L. Evans, the debate was adjourned until next day of sitting.

 

Statutes Amendment
(Relationships) Bill.

 

15.

Council adjourned at fourteen minutes to five o’clock until tomorrow at fifteen minutes past two o’clock.

 

Adjournment.

 

 

_________________________

 

 

 

 

 

Members present during any part of the sitting:

 

 

 

 

The Hon. T. G. Cameron

The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins

The Hon. A. L. Evans

The Hon. G. E. Gago

The Hon. J. M. Gazzola

The Hon. I. Gilfillan

The Hon. P. Holloway

 

The Hon. S. M. Kanck

The Hon. R. D. Lawson

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink

The Hon. R. I. Lucas

The Hon. A. J. Redford

The Hon. K. J. Reynolds

The Hon. D. W. Ridgway

 

The Hon. T. G. Roberts

The Hon. C. V. Schaefer

The Hon. R. K. Sneath

The Hon. J. F. Stefani

The Hon. T. J. Stephens

The Hon. N. Xenophon

The Hon. C. Zollo