A total of 19 orders for papers were agreed to on Wednesday, on topics ranging from animal research to primary schools. The Leader of the Government also addressed the House about the status of documents relating to the Parramatta Light Rail Project ordered under Standing Order 52. Members then debated a motion relating to trade unions, and a new bill to provide for lifetime tracking of greyhounds connected to the greyhound racing industry was introduced. Read on for more…
NON-COMPLIANCE WITH ORDER FOR PAPERS AND ATTENDANCE OF LEADER OF THE GOVERNMENT IN HIS PLACE
In our last blog, we reported that the House had supported a motion moved by Mr Mookhey to censure the Leader of the Government for non-compliance with an order to produce the unredacted final business cases relating to the Parramatta Light Rail Project, Stage One and Stage Two. The motion required that the unredacted business cases be tabled by Wednesday morning – if the Leader did not comply, the Leader would be required to stand in his place to explain the non-compliance, with the House reserving the right to hold the Leader in contempt if the explanation was not satisfactory.
Immediately on the House meeting on Wednesday morning, the President called on the Leader to address the House. Mr Harwin referred to his statement made the previous day, reiterating that the Government was of the view that the House’s power to compel the production of documents does not extend to Cabinet information, consistent with the view taken by successive governments before it. Mr Harwin stated that, although production of the business cases cannot be compelled, the Government reserves its right and may take the view that it may become appropriate for it to release further financial information about this project in the future. However, the sensitivity of information contained within the business cases could greatly compromise the State’s objective of achieving value for money and the delivery of a light rail system.
Mr Harwin reminded the House that while Cabinet was yet to consider the Parramatta Light Rail Stage Two final business case, in the interest of transparency the Government voluntarily provided redacted copies of the main bodies of the final business cases to the House. No further documents were provided. There were no further proceedings in the House on this matter this week.
GREYHOUND RACING AMENDMENT (WHOLE OF LIFE TRACKING) BILL 2021
Introduced by Ms Boyd (Greens), the Greyhound Racing Amendment (Whole of Life Tracking) Bill 2021 seeks to amend the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 to provide for lifetime tracking of greyhounds connected to the greyhound racing industry, including those that are re-homed and no longer owned by participants in the industry.
Currently, dogs connected to the racing industry are recorded on the Greyhound Register held by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission, and the Commission has powers relating to their welfare. But dogs leave this register when they are transferred privately to people not directly involved in racing – ending the chain of tracking and the Commission’s jurisdiction.
Ms Boyd said that in 2019/20, some 17 per cent of the greyhounds that retired from racing were rehomed privately (outside of industry or companion animal adoption processes) and there was a very real possibility that privately rehomed animals were being rehomed on paper but killed in reality. Ms Boyd said the bill would extend the oversight of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission to allow for whole-of-life tracking and require the Commission’s code of practice to include standards for greyhound re-homing and euthanasia.
Debate was adjourned for five calendar days.
ORDERS FOR PAPERS
- North Wilton (Mr Searle, Labor) – due 2 June 2021
- Biobanks (Ms Jackson, Labor) – due 23 June 2021
- Animal research (Ms Hurst, Animal Justice Party) – due 2 June 2021
- Jobs created by the Covid-19 Recovery Plan (Mr Primrose, Labor) – due 2 June 2021
- Councillor Antoine Doueihi, Mayor of Strathfield – Further Order (Mr Buttigieg, Labor) – due 2 June 2021
- Bushfire Reports by Noetic – Further Order (Mr Buttigieg, Labor) – due 19 May 2021
- Proposed new primary school in Westmead (Mrs Houssos, Labor) – due 9 June 2021
- New Banksia Mental Health Unit at Tamworth Hospital (Mr Banasiak, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) – due 9 June 2021
- Forestry operations in public forests (Mr Field, Independent) – due 19 May 2021
- Macquarie Park Education Precinct (Mrs Houssos, Labor) – due 2 June 2021
- Primary schools in Box Hill And Gables (Mrs Houssos, Labor) – due 2 June 2021
- Tallawong new primary school (Mrs Houssos, Labor) – due 9 June 2021
- Senior executive roles and remuneration (Mr Searle, Labor) – due 19 May 2021
- Transmission and connection lines for Snowy 2.0 (Mr Shoebridge, Greens) – due 2 June 2021
- Emails from the Premier (Mr Searle, Labor) – due 9 June 2021
- Land or property sales, disposal, or divestment targets (Mr Searle, Labor) – due 9 June 2021
- Grey Nurse Sharks (Ms Faehrmann, Greens) – due 9 June 2021
- Aerial shooting of wild pigs (Mr Borsak, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) – due 2 June 2021
- Airline operations in New South Wales (Mr Mookhey, Labor) – due 2 June 2021
That’s it for Wednesday – stay tuned for Thursday’s recap!