Revisit last Thursday, when four government bills were before the House, including the high-profile Property Tax (First Home Buyer Choice) Bill 2022 and the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Bill 2022. Time was also made for a Ministerial Statement relating to outcomes for students with disability in NSW schools. Read on for all the details…
MINISTERIAL STATEMENT: OUTCOMES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITY
Early in the sitting day, a Ministerial Statement was made by the Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell, speaking to the latest annual progress report on reforms to improve outcomes for students with disability in NSW schools. Progress Report: Improving outcomes for students with disability 2022 was tabled at the start of the sitting and you can find the full Statement in the Hansard record here, together with a contribution made by the Leader of the Opposition in the Council, the Hon Penny Sharpe.
PROPERTY TAX (FIRST HOME BUYER CHOICE) BILL 2022
Debate on the Property Tax (First Home Buyer Choice) Bill 2022 resumed on Thursday, following the bill’s introduction earlier in the week, when initial contributions to the second reading debate were also made. The bill allows first home buyers a choice of either paying up-front stamp duty or an annual land tax when they purchase a first property valued at up to $1.5 million (or if they are purchasing land valued at up to $800,000 on which to build a first home).
At the conclusion of debate, the second reading of the bill was agreed to on division (21 ayes, 17 noes). The division saw members of the Government, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Animal Justice Party and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party vote in the affirmative together with Independent Revd the Hon Fred Nile, while the Opposition, The Greens and Independent Mr Justin Field voted in the negative.
In committee of the whole, Ms Abigail Boyd (The Greens) moved one amendment, which was negatived on division (17 ayes, 21 noes). The third reading was then agreed to on the voices, and the bill was sent on to the Governor for assent.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PERSONS (CARE AND PROTECTION) AMENDMENT (FAMILY IS CULTURE) BILL 2022
The Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment (Family is Culture) Bill 2022 was introduced and passed in the Council back in October, before making its way to the Legislative Assembly for the first time. The bill amends the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 to implement several recommendations from the 2019 report Family is Culture: Independent Review of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Young People in Out-of-Home Care in New South Wales.
On Thursday, the House resolved into committee of the whole to consider two amendments made to the bill during its passage through the Assembly. These amendments were agreed to on the voices. A message advising of this outcome was then forwarded to the other House, and the bill was sent on to the Governor for assent. You can find the full proceedings in committee of the whole in Hansard here.
PORT OF NEWCASTLE (EXTINGUISHMENT OF LIABILITY) BILL 2022
While the Port of Newcastle (Extinguishment of Liability) Bill 2022 was introduced in the Legislative Assembly as a private members’ bill, the Government took carriage of the bill in the Council. It was introduced by Parliamentary Secretary Sam Farraway on behalf of Minister Damien Tudehope.
The bill establishes a way for the operator of the Port of Newcastle to extinguish its liability to compensate Port Botany and Port Kembla if Port of Newcastle container traffic exceeds a pre-determined cap, which is equivalent to the wharfage fee these other port operators would receive if they handled the containers. This compensation scheme was introduced as part of a deed agreed to during negotiations with respect to the privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kembla in 2013.
After the second reading was agreed to on the voices, the House resolved into committee of the whole. In committee…
- The Hon Daniel Mookhey moved two amendments on behalf of the Opposition – one negatived on the voices and one negatived on division (14 ayes, 16 noes)
- Ms Abigail Boyd (The Greens) moved three amendments to the Opposition’s first amendment, which were negatived on the voices.
With no amendments made, the bill was then read a third time before being sent back to the Legislative Assembly, ready for assent by the Governor.
CRIMES LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (COERCIVE CONTROL) BILL 2022
The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Coercive Control) Bill 2022 was introduced in the Council by Minister Natalie Ward. The subject of a recent inquiry by the Council’s Social Issues Committee, the bill would create a standalone criminal offence of ‘coercive control’ under the Crimes Act 1900. Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse involving behaviours that intimidate, isolate and control. It can take many forms, from controlling finances to preventing a person from making or keeping connections with family, friends and culture. The bill would make it an offence to engage in repeated or continuous behaviour of this nature, and make related amendments to the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007, Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 and Criminal Procedure Act 1986 to, among other things, facilitate the prosecution of such offences.
Full details of the bill can be found in the Minister’s second reading speech, which appears in Hansard together with members’ contributions to the second reading debate. The debate was interrupted by the night’s hard adjournment at 10pm. With amendments from The Greens flagged during debate, look for more during the House’s next sitting week.