Legislation on reproductive technology, the Mental Health Commission, a residential college at Sydney University and the ways the Government may purchase goods and services was passed by the Council on Tuesday. The first day of the second last sitting week also saw the first farewell speech from one of a number of members who will not be returning in the next parliament.


Valedictory speech – the Honourable David Clarke MLC

On Tuesday evening, the Honourable David Clarke MLC, a member of the Liberal Party, gave his valedictory speech. Mr Clarke has served as a member of the Council since 2003. His speech was well attended by many distinguished visitors, including the Premier, the Honourable Gladys Berejiklian MP, ministers from the Legislative Assembly and his family.

Mr Clarke spoke fondly of his time in the Council and in particular his role as a member and Chair of the Standing Committee on Law and Justice. During his time as Chair Mr Clarke presided over the landmark inquiry into the family response to the murders in Bowraville. He noted that because of the committee’s unanimous report, the Bowraville tragedy has not been forgotten, and the pursuit of justice for the families of the murdered victims continues.


Health Legislation Amendment Bill (No 3) 2018

House of Origin: Legislative Council

The bill amends six health related Acts for various purposes in line with the Government’s regular review of health legislation. In particular the bill amends the Assisted Reproductive Technology Act 2007 to better ensure details about births using donated gametes (sperm and ova) are collected and provided to the central register (read this Sydney Morning Herald article for further information about the issue).

The bill also amends the Mental Health Commission Act 2012 following a statutory review by Dr David Chaplow. The review recommended that the Act provide greater focus and clarity to the work of the commission.

Debate on the second reading of the bill resumed on Tuesday (see Hansard for transcript of the debate). After contributions from the Opposition, The Greens and the Christian Democratic Party who all supported the bill, the second and third readings of the bill were agreed to and the bill was forwarded to the Legislative Assembly for concurrence.


Saint Paul’s College Bill 2018

House of Origin: Legislative Council

The bill modernises the governance arrangements for this residential college at the University of Sydney by clearly defining the function of the college and the duties of the College council members. The bill reduces the number of council members from nineteen to thirteen and requires that two members be appointed based on relevant expertise and experience, one of these being an academic. The bill provides that the remaining members of the council are elected by former residents of the College. The bill also provides that any member of the clergy irrespective of gender can be elected, a change from the current Act which provides that only clergymen can be appointed.

Debate on the bill resumed on Tuesday, with the Opposition indicating its support for the bill. At the end of a brief second reading debate the bill was agreed to on the voices and was forwarded to the Legislative Assembly for its concurrence (see Hansard for a transcript of the debate).


Public Works and Procurement Amendment (Enforcement) Bill 2018

House of Origin: Legislative Council

As a consequence of Australia signing the Trans Pacific Partnership in March 2018 (TPP-11), all States and Territories are required to establish an independent review mechanism for government procurement. This bill ensures that Government procurement arrangements in New South Wales comply with the Trans Pacific Partnership obligations and implements international standards for the independent review of government procurement actions. The bill establishes a system where suppliers can seek redress from the Supreme Court if they consider that a government agency has failed to comply with internationally agreed procurement rules.

The bill also allows the New South Wales Procurement Board to issue policies and directions concerning the procurement of goods and services by and for government agencies. In addition, the bill sets out a procedure for persons to make complaints about the conduct of government agencies where it is alleged an enforceable procurement provision has been broken.

Debate on the second reading of the bill resumed on Tuesday. The Opposition and The Greens both opposed the bill and Australia’s signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership, noting that the bill will allow an international entity to suspend a procurement deal or seek compensation if it has been prevented from having a fair opportunity to participate in the procurement process. The Opposition argued that this may prevent the Government from giving priority to local companies.

In contrast, the Christian Democratic Party spoke in support of the bill, noting that it will enhance the recently enacted Modern Slavery Act 2018 concerning the mandatory reporting of modern slavery risks in the supply chains of government agencies and commercial organisations. A member of the government, Dr Phelps, also spoke in support of the bill and suggested that those who opposed the Trans Pacific Partnership should raise their concerns in the Federal Parliament as the external affairs power is enshrined in the Australian Constitution (see Hansard for a transcript of the debate).

The second reading was agreed to on division (19:14), with the Government and Christian Democratic Party supporting the bill and the Opposition and The Greens voting against it. The bill was then read a third time and forwarded to the Assembly for concurrence.


Committee reports

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


Adjournment debate

The following members spoke to the adjournment debate:

  • Mr MacDonald – Parliamentary Friends of Landcare
  • Mr Secord – Parliamentary Friends of Armenia
  • Mr Franklin – Drought
  • Mr Green – Christian Democratic Party Achievements
  • Ms Sharpe – Parliamentary Behaviour
  • Mr Field – Marine Conservation

See Hansard for details of the debate.

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