Last week was dominated by the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019. Two other Government bills were introduced as well as a private members’ bill. There were three orders for papers agreed to, and another disputed claim of privilege.
On Tuesday, the message from the Assembly forwarding the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 was reported, the Social Issues Committee report was received and the House agreed to vary the conduct of business to deal with the second reading of the bill.
By Wednesday evening, all members of the House, other than the President in the Chair, had spoken to the bill. Two amendments were moved to the second reading debate – Mr Borsak moved that the bill be referred to a Joint Select Committee which was defeated on division (14:27), while Mr Mason-Cox moved that the bill be read this day six months, which would essentially defeat the bill and prevent it from being considered again this session of Parliament. Mr Mason-Cox’s amendment was defeated on division (15:26).
The second reading of the bill was finally agreed to after approximately 10 hours of debate. According to the resolution of the House of Tuesday 20 August 2019, amendments to the bill will be considered on Tuesday 17 September 2019.
Two other Government bills were introduced: Transport Administration Amendment (RMS Dissolution) Bill 2019 and the Lake Macquarie Smelter Site (Perpetual Care of Land) Bill 2019, the latter being debated and returned to the Legislative Assembly without amendment. A private members’ bill was introduced: Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (Coal Seam Gas Moratorium) Bill 2019 and the second reading debate for the Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2019 resumed and then adjourned.
On Thursday, three more orders for papers were agreed to. All orders for papers resolved by the House, including due dates and any documents returned, can be viewed on our Orders for Papers webpage.
Also this week in the House, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Searle, disputed a claim of privilege over certain documents returned to an order for papers relating to recruitment of the CEO of Landcom. An independent legal arbiter has been appointed to evaluate and report on the validity of the claim.