Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment Regulation 2018 – Disallowance motion (Mr Mick Veitch, Australian Labor Party)

An interment right is a contract between a cemetery operator and a consumer regarding the use of burial plots The Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013 provides for two types of interment rights: perpetual interment rights – where a grave remains undisturbed forever, and renewable interment rights – which allow for a grave to be reused after an initial set period of time, if the interment right is not renewed.

The Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment Regulation sets the framework for the offering and use of renewable interment rights across all cemetery sectors in the State. The Regulation came into effect on 25 June 2018

Mr Veitch gave notice of his proposed disallowance of the Regulation on 14 August 2018. The following day the Regulation was referred to the Regulation Committee for inquiry and report. According to the rules relating to the Regulation Committee, consideration of Mr Veitch’s disallowance was deferred until the Regulation Committee provided its report to the House, which occurred on 9 November 2018.

In debate, Mr Veitch said that the primary reason he was seeking the disallowance was that the level of communication and consultation undertaken regarding the development of the Regulation had been, in his opinion, wholly inadequate, a fact he said was borne out during the inquiry by the Regulation Committee. That point on consultation was echoed by other members who spoke in support of the motion, and was also acknowledged by some members arguing against the disallowance (see Hansard for a transcript of the debate).

Ultimately, the disallowance was defeated on division (14:18) with the Opposition, The Greens and the Animal Justice Party voting for, and the Government and the Christian Democratic Party against the motion.

Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Clean Air) Bill 2018

House of Origin: Legislative Council (Ms Cate Faerhmann, The Greens)

The bill seeks to set standards for emissions of certain air impurities that must not be exceeded by coal-fired power stations in New South Wales. The air impurities covered by the bill are nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, sulphur dioxide and atmospheric particles of mercury less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter.

Ms Faehrmann introduced the bill on Thursday morning. In her second reading speech, she said that currently in New South Wales the permissible levels of emissions of four key pollutants are far in excess of what is considered acceptable in many other countries. Ms Faehrmann said that the bill simply seeks to safeguard people’s health by bringing the remaining five coal-fired power stations in New South Wales in line with the rest of the world regarding toxic air pollution.

In accordance with standard practice, once Ms Faehrmann concluded her speech (see Hansard for a transcript of Ms Faehrmann’s speech), further debate on the bill was adjourned for five calendar days.

Berejiklian-Barilaro Government (Ms Penny Sharpe, Australian Labor Party)

The motion, of Ms Sharpe – the newly elected Deputy Leader of the NSW Opposition – criticises the Government’s performance over the last eight years in terms of its action and policies. The motion calls on the House to condemn the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government.

In introducing her motion, Ms Sharpe noted that there were 128 days until the State general election, and that the motion highlights the difference in priorities between the Government and the Opposition. Ms Sharpe argued that these differences will be the basis upon which the community makes its choice in 2019. Dr Peter Phelps (Liberal Party) and Mr Justin Field (The Greens) made contributions (see Hansard for a transcript) before the debate was interrupted for Questions.

Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2017

The bill amends the Crimes Act 1900 by establishing a separate offence for conduct causing serious harm to or the destruction of a child in utero, and extending the offence of dangerous driving causing death or grievous bodily harm to dangerous driving causing the destruction of, or serious harm to, a child in utero.

The bill which had been introduced by Reverend Nile on 9 March 2017 was last debated on 19 October of that year.

After Question Time, Reverend Nile moved a motion to suspend standing orders to bring on debate on the bill. With the support of the Government , this was agreed to on division (19:15), with the Opposition, The Greens and the Animal Justice Party opposing the suspension.

Earlier in the day, Mr Khan (The Nationals) had circulated amendments to the bill which sought to address some of the known concerns held by some people regarding the intent and potential impact of the bill. At the start of the debate, Mr Khan unsuccessfully sought leave to speak a second time (having spoken in the debate in 2017) in order to provide commentary on his amendments. Ultimately, a single member, Mr Martin (Liberal Party) was able to make a brief contribution before debate was interrupted by the adjournment of the House.

Adjournment debate

The following members spoke to the adjournment debate:

  • Mr Shoebridge – Prison Drug Rehabilitation Services / Cumberland State Forest
  • Mr Mallard – Penrith Infrastructure
  • Mr Graham – Music Industry
  • Ms Walker – Beach Stone Curlews
  • Mr Fang – Lockhart Swimming Complex / Sustainability / Historical Preservation
  • Mrs Houssos – State Election

See Hansard for details of the debate.