With an extra day in the sitting week, Thursday was another private members’ day in the Legislative Council. Two new bills were introduced, a range of motions were debated, and three orders for papers were agreed to. It was of course Remembrance Day, with the House observing a minute’s silence and contributing to a special Remembrance Day motion. Read on for more…

remembrance day

The President opened the day’s sitting with an announcement about Remembrance Day, commemorating the signing of the armistice that ended the First World War and paying respect to those that served during that war and those who have served and sacrificed in conflicts since. The President later attended the NSW Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, where he laid a wreath, together with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

In the chamber, after observing one minute of silence at 11 am, members contributed to a motion acknowledging Remembrance Day, moved by Mr Mallard (Liberal). Over the course of debate in the morning and afternoon, 16 members rose to speak, including from the Government, Labor, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers and the Christian Democratic Party. At the conclusion of debate, the motion was agreed to on the voices.

The President and the Speaker at the NSW Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place

ICAC and Other Independent Commissions Legislation Amendment (Independent Funding) Bill 2021 (No. 2)

As regular readers will note, on Tuesday Mr Borsak (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) gave notice of the ICAC and Other Independent Commissions Legislation Amendment (Independent Funding) Bill 2021 (No. 2), after the President ruled that a previous version of the bill – which provided for a contingency fund in clause 4.6A – was a money bill and therefore, needed to originate in the Assembly.

The version of the bill introduced on Thursday seeks to increase the independence of five integrity agencies: the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC), the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission, the New South Wales Electoral Commission, the Ombudsman’s Office and the Audit Office. To do this, it proposes to allow the relevant parliamentary oversight committee for each of the agencies mentioned above to review their respective agency’s Budget preparations (you can see a list of parliamentary committees here). These committees would then determine and report to Parliament on an appropriation amount for the agency, for inclusion in the annual Appropriation Bills.

The bill also seeks to introduce a new funding model for the Department of the Legislative Council and Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS). Similar to the approach taken with the integrity agencies, it proposes to empower the existing Legislative Council Public Accountability Committee and constitute a Joint Committee on Parliamentary Services to determine and report to Parliament on appropriation amounts for the Council and DPS respectively, for inclusion in the annual Appropriation Bills.  

If any of the appropriations included in the Appropriation Bills differ to what was determined and recommended by the relevant parliamentary committee, the bill would also require the Treasurer to make a statement explaining the inconsistency. You can read Mr Borsak’s second reading speech here.

According to standing order, debate on the bill was adjourned for five calendar days.

Children (Criminal Proceedings) Amendment (Age of Criminal Responsibility) Bill 2021

Mr Shoebridge (The Greens) introduced the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Amendment (Age of Criminal Responsibility) Bill 2021. Under the current law, the age of criminal responsibility is 10, which means that a child under the age of 10 cannot be found guilty of an offence. This bill seeks to amend the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14. The changes proposed by the bill would also mean that a child under 16 could not be sentenced to imprisonment or detained on remand while awaiting criminal proceedings. You can read more about changes proposed by the bill, as well Mr Shoebridge’s second reading speech here.

According to standing order, debate on the bill was adjourned for five calendar days.

List of general motions and orders for papers

General motions

The following general motions were debated and agreed to, unless otherwise stated:

Orders for papers

The following orders for papers were debated and agreed to:

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