Private members’ business

Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Amendment (Marine Plastics Reduction) Bill (Mr Field, The Greens)

The bill provides for the phasing out of single use plastics, polystyrene packaging, products containing plastic microbeads and other plastic products in order to reduce the threat to marine animals and ecosystems caused by plastic in the marine environment. The bill provides for the establishment of a Marine Plastics Reduction Commission and specifies several marine plastics elimination targets, including a reduction of the amount of marine plastic waste that enters the marine environment by 90 percent (from 2018 levels) by the end of 2020.

Mr Field introduced the bill and gave his second reading speech on Thursday morning, see Hansard for a transcript of the member’s speech. Mr Field argued that the bill sets a new benchmark for legislative action to deal with the problem of plastic waste and that it recognises the only suitable regulatory response to single-use plastics is to regulate them out of existence. At the conclusion of Mr Field’s speech debate was adjourned for five calendar days.

Referral of the former member for Wagga Wagga to ICAC (Mr Mookhey, Australian Labor Party)

The motion proposed that the House refer to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for investigation and report the conduct of the former member for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire, in respect of his relationship with property developers and certain related matters including any recommendations for changes to the Members’ Code of Conduct that may arise as a result of that inquiry. The motion also proposed that a message be sent to the Legislative Assembly requesting the Assembly to pass a similar motion.

The Government opposed the motion pointing out that ICAC’s current investigation concerning Canterbury City Council includes the conduct of Mr Maguire and that ICAC has power to amend its terms of reference if necessary to investigate particular conduct. The Opposition and The Greens spoke in favour of the motion arguing that it was necessary to refer the matters to ICAC to restore the public’s faith in the political process and send a strong message to the public about what the Parliament expects from its members. See Hansard for a transcript of the debate.

During debate the Government moved an amendment to the motion to omit the referral to ICAC and insert instead a paragraph condemning Mr Maguire for his actions as revealed and admitted in the current ICAC investigation. The Opposition moved an amendment to the Government’s amendment which would have had the effect of adding the Government’s proposed paragraph condemning Mr Maguire to the end of the original motion. In the end, the Opposition amendment to the Government’s amendment was defeated on division (19:16), the Government’s amendment was agreed to on the voices, and the motion as amended by the Government was agreed to.

Violence in South Africa (Revd Mr Nile, Christian Democratic Party)

The motion as originally moved referred to violence in South Africa with a focus on white farmers. Debate resumed on the motion on Thursday. See In the House – Thursday 17 May 2018 for previous proceedings, including the terms of the original motion. Members of the Government, Opposition and Christian Democratic Party spoke to the motion. See Hansard for a transcript of the debate. Before agreeing to the motion, the House agreed to amendments moved by two Government members, Minister Harwin and Mr Franklin. As amended, the motion noted Articles 2 and 3 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and strongly condemned any calls for violence or persecution towards any racial group by officials of the Republic of South Africa past or present and any legislation which would unjustly expropriate land. The motion, as amended, was agreed to on the voices.

Agricultural shows in New South Wales (Mrs Taylor, The Nationals)

The motion notes that the Nimmitabel, Dalgety and Cooma shows had been held in early 2018. The motion highlighted that the Agricultural Societies Council of New South Wales is in its 87th year as the parent body of 195 Agricultural Show Societies across the State. The motion also acknowledged the role of agricultural shows in promoting and protecting the country’s pastoral, agricultural, horticultural and industrial resources. The motion concluded by acknowledging the Royal Easter Show’s promotion of agriculture in Sydney.

The debate resumed after having been adjourned on 15 March. Mr Martin and Mr MacDonald spoke to the motion before debate was interrupted for questions (see Hansard for a transcript of the debate). Debate resumed later in the afternoon when Mrs Maclaren-Jones briefly spoke to the motion before it was adjourned until the next sitting day.

Select committee on homelessness (Mr Wong, Australian Labor Party)

The motion called on the House to establish a select committee to inquire into and report on preventing and addressing homelessness in New South Wales.

Debate resumed on the motion on Thursday. See In the House – Thursday 7 June 2018 for previous proceedings and Hansard for Mr Wong’s speech in reply. The motion was negatived on division (15:21), with the Opposition, The Greens, and Animal Justice Party voting for the motion and the Government and Christian Democratic Party voting against the motion.

Return to order – 2018-19 Budget Finances – Document over which privilege had been claimed now made public

The posts for the previous two days recounted how the Honourable Keith Mason AC QC had been appointed to evaluate the claim of privilege over a document included in the return to the order for papers regarding the 2018-2019 Budget Finances. The report of Mr Mason which was made public on Wednesday did not support the claim of privilege. On Thursday the House agreed to the motion moved by Mr Field of The Greens that in light of the finding in Mr Mason’s report that the document in question be made public, the document, which deals with gambling revenues, was subsequently tabled.

Adjournment debate

The following members spoke to the adjournment debate:

  • Mr Shoebridge – Israeli Military Courts
  • Mr Mallard – Western Sydney Infrastructure
  • Mr Donnelly – Abortion
  • Mr Colless – Drought
  • Mr Moselmane – Labor Union Multicultural Action Committee
  • Mrs Maclaren-Jones – Cancer Council Relay for Life

See Hansard for details of the debate.