There were three bills before the Legislative Council on Wednesday – and highlighting the truly diverse nature of private members’ business day, their topics ranged from enforcing timber harvesting ‘safety zones’, to exempting medicinal cannabis users from certain driving offences, to redefining the principles of sound financial management in NSW. There were also more than 30 general motions debated or dealt with during the day’s formal business! Read on for more…


The Forestry Amendment (Timber Harvesting Safety Zones) Bill 2023 was introduced by the Hon Mark Banasiak (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers). The bill seeks to amend the Forestry Act 2012 by introducing timber harvesting safety zones, and makes it an offence for a person to enter or remain in a timber harvesting safety zone or obstruct or interfere with timber harvesting or related forestry operations carried out within the zone. The bill also seeks to increase the maximum penalties that apply under the Forestry Act, notably to those relating to obstructing authorised officers.

You can find further details in Mr Banasiak’s second reading speech.

After its introduction in the chamber, the bill was adjourned for five calendar days, according to standing order.


The second reading debate for the Fiscal Responsibility Amendment (Wellbeing Budget) Bill 2023 began on Wednesday, with the bill introduced by Ms Abigail Boyd (The Greens) back on 21 June – see our earlier blog post here

The bill seeks to amend the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2012 to broaden the objects of the Act beyond maintaining a triple-A rating to also encompass maintaining essential public assets and services under public ownership and control, and increasing the long-term economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the state.

During debate, contributions were heard from members of the Government, the Opposition, and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation. See all members’ contributions in the Hansard record.

Debate was interrupted after 30 minutes according to a motion agreed to earlier in the sitting, with debate on the bill set down on the Notice Paper for resumption on a future day.


The Hon Jeremy Buckingham (Legalise Cannabis Party) introduced the Road Transport Amendment (Medicinal Cannabis) Bill 2023 on Wednesday. The bill seeks to amend the Road Transport Act 2013 to provide that the offence of driving with the presence of certain drugs in a person’s oral fluid, blood or urine does not apply to users of medicinal cannabis.

If passed, the bill would provide a defence to prosecution if the defendant proves that when they engaged in the offence, the only prescribed illicit drug in their system was delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, and that the THC was obtained and administered in accordance with the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 or a corresponding law of another state or territory.

In his second reading speech, Mr Buckingham referred to the Road Transport Amendment (Medicinal Cannabis – Exemptions from Offences) Bill 2021, introduced to the Council by Ms Cate Faehrmann (The Greens) in the last Parliament, which proposed comparable amendments. He also referred to the Law and Justice Committee’s inquiry that examined Ms Faehrmann’s bill in detail, and reported in 2022. The inquiry report is available here. The Hansard transcript of Mr Buckingham’s second reading speech is available here.

After its introduction in the chamber, the bill was adjourned for five calendar days, according to standing order.


The following motions were debated in the House over the course of the day:

Topic of motion (click link for details)Moved byAgreed to?
Sydney Metro West (also continued in Hansard here)The Hon Natalie Ward (Liberal)Agreed to
Answer provided in the Legislative Council by the Hon Penny SharpeThe Hon Rod Roberts (Pauline Hanson’s One Nation)Agreed to, as amended
Biosecurity fundingThe Hon Emily Suvaal (Labor)Agreed to on division (Ayes: 22/Noes: 19)
Stronger Country Communities FundThe Hon Sam Farraway (Nationals)Agreed to, as amended
Red imported fire antsThe Hon Sarah Mitchell (Nationals)Agreed to
Animal custody ordersThe Hon Emma HurstAgreed to, as amended
State project deliveryThe Hon Chris Rath (Liberal)Agreed to, as amended
Newry State ForestMs Sue Higginson (The Greens)Agreed to, as amended, on division (Ayes: 21/Noes: 19)
Bungarribee community batteryThe Hon Peter Primrose (Labor)Agreed to
Arts grants and Creative Kids VouchersThe Hon Susan Carter (Liberal)Agreed to, as amended
Public and private faith-based hospitalsThe Hon Rachel Merton (Liberal)Agreed to, as amended

In addition to the above motions debated in the chamber, a large number of motions were agreed to without debate, during the morning’s formal business:


Request (click link for details)Moved byAgreed to?Due date
Papers relating to the recruitment and appointment of the Secretary of Transport for NSWThe Hon Natalie Ward (Liberal)Agreed to, as amended16 August 2023
Papers relating to Albury Hospital redevelopmentDr Amanda Cohn (The Greens)Agreed to16 August 2023

Leave a Reply