Overview of the day

This was the first sitting week following a seven week break, and as a result there were a large number of messages to be reported, statutory and committee reports to be tabled and notices of motions for items of business to be given by members. The House resolved that proceedings would be interrupted at 6.00 pm for Dr Mehreen Faruqi of The Greens to give her valedictory speech

Resignation of Dr Mehreen Faruqi

Dr Mehreen Faruqi became a member of the Legislative Council on 19 June 2013 when she was elected at a joint sitting to fill the casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Ms Cate Faehrmann, Dr Faruqi was then subsequently re-elected to the Council at the 2015 election.

According to resolution of the House, at 6.00 pm Dr Faruqi gave her valedictory speech (see Hansard for a transcript of the speech). Later that night, Dr Faruqi tendered her resignation as a member of the Council to the Governor. Dr Faruqi tendered her resignation as she had been endorsed by her party to fill the vacancy in the Australian Senate that was to arise from the anticipated resignation on Wednesday of Senator Lee Rhiannon.


Government business

Unexplained Wealth (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018

House of Origin: Legislative Assembly

The bill refers certain matters relating to unexplained wealth and information gathering to the Parliament of the Commonwealth for the purposes of section 51(xxxvii) of the Australian Constitution, which enables State Parliaments to refer matters to the Commonwealth Parliament.

This referral of powers will authorise the Australian Federal Police to use certain New South Wales offences as a basis for confiscation of unexplained wealth from criminals under the Commonwealth Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This power would operate concurrently with New South Wales’s own confiscation laws, including the unexplained wealth orders available under the Criminal Assets Recovery Act 1990.

The bill was initially received from the Legislative Assembly and it was read a first time on 20 June. The second reading debate on the bill commenced after formalities on 14 August (see Hansard for a transcript of the debate). After a brief debate, the second and third readings of the bill were agreed to and the bill was returned to the Legislative Assembly without amendment.


Fair Trading Amendment (Short-Term Rental Accommodation) Bill 2018

House of origin: Legislative Assembly

The bill amends the Fair Trading Act 1987 to provide for a code of conduct in relation to the short-term rental accommodation industry and to amend the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 to allow strata scheme by-laws to prohibit short-term rental accommodation in certain cases.

The House initially received the bill from the Assembly and it was read it a first time on 20 June 2018. Debate on the second reading commenced just before Question Time on Tuesday (see Hansard for a transcript of the debate). Debate was interrupted by Questions, debate on committee reports and the valedictory speech of Dr Faruqi, and then resumed following the dinner break. The second reading was agreed to on the voices.

In the committee stage The Greens moved amendments requiring short term rental accommodation provisions in LEPs to prevail over SEPPS, and amendments concerning the prohibition of short-term rental accommodation by strata by-laws. The Opposition moved amendments concerning the code of conduct proposed by the bill. The Greens and the Opposition supported each other’s amendments, however, all of the amendments were negatived either on the voices or on division.

The Greens then called for a division on the third reading of the bill (33:4). The bill was returned to the Legislative Assembly without amendment.


Committee reports

The House took note of several committee reports. See Hansard for details of the debate.


Returns to orders

During the break since the last sitting, two returns to orders, relating to the 2018-2019 Budget and Budget Finances were received by the Clerk. Tabled in the House on Tuesday, the returns were available for inspection by members as soon as they had been received.

On 17 July, Mr Justin Field of The Greens lodged a written dispute regarding the validity of the claim of privilege over one of the documents included in the Budget Finances return. As a result, the Honourable Keith Mason AC QC was appointed as an independent arbiter to evaluate and report as to the validity of the claim of privilege. Mr Mason completed his report and provided it to the Clerk .The report of the independent legal arbiter is available for inspection by members of the Legislative Council only, unless the House resolved otherwise. See the House in Review blog for Wednesday for further proceedings on this report.


Adjournment debate

The following members spoke to the adjournment debate:

  • Mr MacDonald – Drought Relief
  • Mr Primrose – Public Libraries
  • Mr Green – Drought
  • Mrs Maclaren-Jones – School Maintenance Funding
  • Mr Veitch – Drought Assistance
  • Mr Field – Drought Assistance
  • Dr Phelps – Riverina Regional Mobile Library

See Hansard for details of the debate.

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