On Wednesday records were broken for the most orders for papers passed in one day and a range of other bills and motions were debated including the passing of a bill to increase transparency regarding water access licences.
Private members’ business
Twenty-six items of private members’ business were considered on Wednesday, including bills, orders for papers and general motions. Wednesday set the record of most orders for papers ever agreed to on a single day, with 14 orders passing.
The following private members’ bills were debated on Wednesday:
Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Sex Workers) Bill 2020
The bill introduced by Ms Boyd (Greens) amends the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 to make it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of their current or previous occupation as a sex worker. Ms Boyd stated that discrimination against sex workers is very common, including loss of housing or employment, the denial of essential services and the manner in which serious assault is respond to.
The purpose of the bill is to stop this discrimination and protect sex workers, including by offering health, wellbeing and legal protections. At the conclusion of Ms Boyd’s speech, debate was adjourned for five calendar days.
Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Prohibition of Waste to Energy Incinerators) Bill 2020
The bill introduced by Ms Faehrmann (Greens) seeks to prohibit the development of new waste to energy incinerators. This would be applicable to existing pending applications but not to current developments, or to incinerators for the treatment of exempt waste fuel such as clinical waste.
Ms Faehrmann argued that specific incinerator projects have not been supported by communities or withstood scrutiny by local government, government agencies or parliamentary scrutiny. She also detailed a range of concerns regarding the use of incineration as a waste management practice, including that it poses unacceptable risks to people’s health and the environment, is not financially viable and works against low waste economy goals by facilitating a system in which an industry becomes dependent on waste as a profitable fuel source. At the conclusion of Ms Faehrmann’s speech, debate was adjourned for five calendar days.
Water Management Amendment (Transparency of Water Rights) Bill 2020
Mr Banasiak’s (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) bill was restored to the second reading stage on Tuesday, after being examined by Portfolio Committee No. 4 – Industry, along with two other bills concerning water. This bill seeks to facilitate public access to information relating to water access licences, and require members of Parliament and their spouses to disclose any interests in such licences.
The Government opposed the bill, citing concerns around the public provision of personal information that would identify licence holders. The Opposition, the Greens, One Nation and Mr Field spoke in support of the bill, emphasising the importance of promoting transparency in relation to water management in New South Wales. The second reading was agreed to on division (22 votes to 16).
The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers successfully moved five amendments in the committee stage to ensure that if a member or a member’s spouse has a connection with a trust that has a water interest the member must disclosure this in the pecuniary interests register. The bill was then read a third time on division (22 votes to 16), and was forwarded to the Legislative Assembly for concurrence.
Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020
The bill introduced by Mr Latham (One Nation) seeks to amend the Education Act 1900 to prohibit the teaching of gender fluidity to children in schools, clarify that parents and not schools are primarily responsible for the teaching of core values such as ethical and moral standards and an understanding of personal identity, including gender and sexuality, and require schools to annually consult with parents about courses that include teaching on core values.
Mr Latham stated that the bill is an important step in the extension of parental rights and argued that moral and ethical teaching should be conducted at home rather than in schools. At the conclusion of Mr Latham’s speech debate was adjourned for five calendar days. Mr Latham then referred the bill to Portfolio Committee No. 3 – Education for inquiry and report.
Roads Amendment (Toll-free Period) Bill 2020
The bill introduced by Mr Graham (Labor) seeks to amend the Roads Act 1993 to provide for the declaration of toll-free periods for new tollways, and for compensation to tollway operators for any consequent loss of revenue. The bill does not specify the length of toll-free periods, leaving that as an operational matter for the Government.
Mr Graham cited transport experts who have declared that Sydney has the most extensive and expensive urban toll road network in the world. Mr Graham argued that an initial legislated toll-free period for new motorways would help minimise cost of living pressures on the state’s motorists. He further asserted that when a new toll is implemented, there is an increased risk (acknowledged by Transport for NSW) of motorists engaging in unsafe driving to avoid the toll, including stopping in lanes, reversing or crossing barriers. Mr Graham stated that toll-free periods are critical as they provide motorists with time to adjust their routes before they have to pay a new toll. At the conclusion of Mr Graham’s speech, debate was adjourned for 5 calendar days.
Crimes Amendment (Zoe’s Law) Bill 2019
Just prior to the House adjourning at midnight, debate briefly resumed on Revd Mr Nile’s (Christian Democratic Party) bill to amend the Crimes Act 1900 in relation to criminal acts resulting in the “serious harm to or the destruction of an unborn child”. Mr Khan (Nationals) noted his opposition to the bill before being interrupted for the adjournment.
The following motions were debated and agreed to:
- 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup (Mrs Ward, Liberal) – Motion congratulating the Football Federations of Australia and New Zealand on their successful joint bid to host the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
- COVID-19 pandemic support by charitable and community organisations (Mr Franklin, Nationals) – Motion thanking and acknowledging community-based organisations across New South Wales for their dedication and commitment to supporting local residents through the pandemic by providing food, counselling and housing.
- Mental health community pharmacy training program (Mr Fang, Nationals) – Motion acknowledging the importance of pharmacists to regional communities in New South Wales and thanking the Pharmacy Guild of Australia for their work in upskilling pharmacists in mental health training.
- Domestic violence statistics (Ms Boyd, Greens) – Motion detailing a range of concerning domestic violence statistics and acknowledging that the vast majority of domestic violence goes unreported to police. The motion was agreed to on division (34 votes to 4) with One Nation and the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers voting against it.
- Consideration of the Performance Audit report of the Auditor-General entitled ‘Their Futures Matter’ (Ms Sharpe, Labor) – Motion to debate a report which details failings by the Government in responding to an independent review of out of home care in New South Wales, known as the Tune report.
Orders for papers motions
- The following orders for Government papers were debated and agreed to:
- Insurance and Care NSW and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (Mr Mookhey, Labor) – due 19 August 2020.
- Community funds and grants (Mr Searle, Labor) – due 19 August 2020.
- Enrolment capacity of public schools (Mrs Houssos Labor) – due 26 August 2020.
- Unflued gas heaters in public schools (Mrs Houssos, Labor) – due 19 August 2020.
- Civil claims against police (Shoebridge, Greens) – due 26 August 2020 and 4 October 2020.
- Dam infrastructure projects (Mr Field, Independent) – due 2 September 2020.
- South East Sydney Integrated Service Plan (Mr Searle, Labor) – due 26 August 2020.
- Australian National Baboon Colony at Wallacia (Ms Hurst, Animal Justice) – due 26 August 2020.
- Brandy Hill Quarry expansion proposal (Mr Searle, Labor) – due 12 August 2020.
- Koala habitat and populations (Ms Faehrmann, Greens) – due 26 August 2020.
- Department and agency assets – Department of Education (Mrs Houssos, Labor) – due 26 August 2020.
- Stronger Country Communities applications (Mr Shoebridge, Greens) – due 26 August 2020.
The following orders for Government papers were agreed to as formal business:
- Motor vehicle use of the Honourable Don Harwin MLC (Mr Banasiak, SFF) – due 19 August 2020
- Alleged breach of public health order by the Honourable Don Harwin MLC (Mr Latham, One Nation) – due 19 August 2020.
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