Second Reading

Resumed from 14 March.

Comments and speeches from various members

HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [8.24 pm]: I rise to indicate that the Greens WA will not support the motion to refer this bill to committee. However, I have enormous sympathy for where Hon Michael Mischin is coming from in trying to have it referred. I acknowledge the excellent work that was done by the Standing Committee on Uniform Legislation and Statutes Review in the first instance. It is a very good report. That committee was able to unpick some quite significant deficits in the legislation and the implications of them not being addressed. It is true that we have gone back and forth with a whole suite of amendments to try to address that. That has been less than satisfactory.

That was aggravated by this house having to unexpectedly deal with legislation in the last sitting week due to circumstances beyond the control of anyone in this place. That meant that those of us who had primary carriage of this legislation for our respective parties were suddenly left needing to wade through some quite complex amendments. Having said that, I acknowledge that the government has worked hard to listen to the concerns raised by me and others in this chamber, and specifically by Hon Michael Mischin in his contribution to the second reading debate last week. While Hon Michael Mischin has been on his feet, I have had the opportunity to peruse where we are finally at with the proposed amendments on issue 5 of supplementary notice paper 75. I am satisfied that these amendments finally resolve all the concerns that the Greens had. As such, I do not now believe that referral to committee is necessary.

As I mentioned, I have great sympathy for the mover of the referral motion because Hon Michael Mischin has not had the opportunity to look at the extensive and complicated amendments. That is clearly a less than satisfactory position to be left in. I appreciate that it must be incredibly frustrating. If it were me, I would probably be going out of my mind. I also want to say that it is really important that we get this provision right. It is not just because of this bill and because it is important that we craft good legislation, but also because it has been suggested that the amendment before us will have precedential value for how to deal with similar legislation in the future. That is why it is very important that we get this right. Having spoken to Hon Michael Mischin behind the Chair, I understand that that was his primary concern—that is, the precedential value of getting this amendment right. Nevertheless, I feel confident that the amendment in front of us addresses the concerns. As such, I am hopeful that other members will have an opportunity to examine it as thoroughly as they need to. I will not agree to the referral motion. However, I have great sympathy for the motivation behind it.

Comments and speeches from various members

Debate adjourned until a later stage of the sitting, on motion by Hon Pierre Yang.


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