Wednesday is the day for private members’ business in the Legislative Council, with the mid-week sitting particularly known for the workout given to standing order 52 – the power of the House to order the production of documents. This week there were just shy of 10 orders agreed to, as well as consideration of two private members’ bills, one dealing with horse racing and the other medicinal cannabis. Read on for more…
RACEHORSE LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (WELFARE AND REGISTRATION) BILL 2021
The Racehorse Legislation Amendment (Welfare and Registration) Bill 2021 was introduced in the Legislative Council by the Hon Mark Pearson (Animal Justice Party) during a sitting last year, and on Wednesday members resumed the second reading debate.
The broad aim of the bill was to improve the welfare of horses in the racing industry, including by prohibiting horse riders or drivers at certain races from wearing spurs, carrying or using a whip, and from riding horses with a tongue tie. In addition, the bill sought to establish a registration scheme and place certain restrictions on registered horses, specifically around racing, slaughter and rehoming.
At the conclusion of member contributions, the second reading of the bill was negatived on the voices.
ROAD TRANSPORT AMENDMENT (MEDICINAL CANNABIS – EXEMPTIONS FROM OFFENCES) BILL 2021
The Road Transport Amendment (Medicinal Cannabis – Exemptions from Offences) Bill 2021 was introduced in November last year by Ms Cate Faehrmann (The Greens). It sought to amend the Road Transport Act 2013 to exclude users of medical cannabis from being charged with driving offences relating to the presence of the drug in their system. This was to apply specifically to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC (the main chemical responsible for the effects of cannabis), and only if the drug had been obtained and taken for medicinal purposes.
After its introduction last year, the bill was referred to the Council’s Law and Justice Committee for inquiry and report. The committee’s report was tabled last month, making the sole recommendation that debate on the bill proceed and address the concerns of stakeholders raised during the inquiry. This debate occurred on Wednesday.
Although Ms Faehrmann had delivered her second reading speech in November, a further opportunity to speak to the bill was afforded, as provided for under standing orders.
After debate with contributions from a number of members, there was a division on the second reading. The Greens, Animal Justice Party and Independent Mr Justin Field voted in support of the motion, but with six ayes to 29 noes, the bill was negatived.
The following general motions were debated:
- Public sector wages policy – moved by the Hon Chris Rath (Liberal Party) and agreed to on the voices, as amended
- Housing crisis – moved by the Hon Rod Roberts (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation) and agreed to on the voices
ORDERS FOR PAPERS
The following orders for papers were debated and agreed to:
- Banning of mobile phones in NSW schools – moved by the Hon Courtney Houssos (Labor) – due 2 November 2022
- Sale of government assets – moved by the Hon Daniel Mookhey (Labor) – due 2 November 2022
- Nigel Farage speaking event – moved by the Hon Mark Latham (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation) – due 2 November 2022
- Warragamba Dam critical state significant infrastructure declaration – moved by Mr Justin Field (Independent) – due 2 November 2022
- Ministerial Code of Conduct – moved by the Hon John Graham (Labor) – due 2 November 2022
- SafeWork NSW – further order moved by the Hon Daniel Mookhey (Labor) – due 9 November 2022
- Greyhound Racing NSW – moved by the Hon Courtney Houssos (Labor) – due 2 November 2022
- Brumby shooting in Kosciusko National Park – moved by the Hon Emma Hurst (Animal Justice Party) – due 2 November 2022