Last week in the House, the Budget Papers 2019-20 were tabled, and the Appropriation Bill and cognates were considered and returned to the Legislative Assembly, along with three other bills. The appointment and membership of eight Joint Committees was resolved and nine orders for papers were agreed to.
On Tuesday, the Budget Papers 2019-20 were tabled in the House, and on Thursday the Appropriation Bill 2019, and cognates ― the Appropriation (Parliament) Bill 2019 and the State Revenue and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 were received and considered. The first two bills were agreed to, the third bill was amended in committee of the whole. The Greens amendments removed proposed changes to long service leave for future public servants and an Opposition amendment removed from the bill a legislated merger of Roads and Maritime Services and Transport for NSW.
On Wednesday the House debated and returned the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment (Inmate Behaviour) Bill 2019 to the Legislative Assembly without amendment. The Local Government Amendment Bill 2019 was also debated with the Greens moving two amendments in committee of the whole, which were agreed to on division (23:16).
Wednesday also saw the appointment and membership resolved for eight Joint Committees which feature members from both the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly and are administered by the Department of the Legislative Assembly staff. Details are available on the NSW Parliament website.
Nine orders for papers were agreed to by the House, with seven of them passing on Thursday. All orders for papers including due dates and any documents returned, can be viewed on our Orders for Papers webpage.
Last week also saw the resolution of a rare disagreement between the two Houses about Council amendments to the Ageing and Disability Commissioner Bill 2019 and the constitutionality of a Council amendment recommending the allocation of funds.
On Tuesday the Council resumed its debate on the bill in committee of the whole and agreed to 35 amendments. The bill was then returned to the Assembly.
On Wednesday, the Council considered a message from the Assembly in which it advised that it agreed to 29 of the 35 amendments. The Government proposed that the Council not persist with the outstanding six amendments but the Opposition and cross bench members joined to again insist on two of the six amendments, one of which concerned the allocation of funds for disability advocacy. A message was returned to the Assembly advising of the outcome.
On Thursday another message was received from the Assembly returning the bill to the Council for the third time, advising that it would now agree to one amendment but could not agree to the other concerning funding, and instead offered an alternative amendment. In committee of the whole the Government moved that the alternative proposition be agreed to. The Opposition, The Greens, Mr Justin Field and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party continued to insist on the original amendment.
However, the Animal Justice Party, which had originally joined with the other non-government members referred to above to support the recommendation for funding, stated that they now would support the alternative amendment offered by the Assembly to provide for the newly independent Commissioner to make recommendations about funding and other aspects of disability services. The Opposition’s motion to insist on the original amendment was defeated 18 to 19, the Animal Justice Party voting with the Government.
The House is now in recess until Tuesday 6 August 2019.