Bills relating to the summoning of ministers to give evidence, and to the prohibition of petroleum mining in the Liverpool Plains area, were both introduced on Wednesday. The House also agreed to establish a new select committee to further explore the undergrounding of the state’s renewable energy infrastructure, and debated a range of other private members’ motions. Read on for more…
INTRODUCED: PARLIAMENTARY EVIDENCE AMENDMENT (MINISTERIAL ACCOUNTABILITY) BILL 2023
The Parliamentary Evidence Amendment (Ministerial Accountability) Bill 2023 was introduced by the Hon Damian Tudehope (Liberal). The bill seeks to amend the Parliamentary Evidence Act 1901 to provide that Ministers of the Crown may be summoned to attend and give evidence before a House of Parliament or a committee of Parliament. As currently drafted, the Act excludes all members of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly (including ministers) from being summoned under the Act. Currently, members are simply invited to give evidence at parliamentary inquiry hearings, for example.
In his second reading speech, Mr Tudehope noted that the bill was prompted by circumstances arising in the context of the current inquiry into the appointments of Josh Murray to the position of Secretary of Transport for NSW and Emma Watts as NSW Cross-Border Assistant Commissioner, which is being conducted by the Legislative Council’s Public Accountability and Works Committee. Mr Tudehope also highlighted the fundamental role of the Council in scrutinising the activities of the executive government and holding it to account under the system of responsible government in NSW, including by having ministers appear before Council committees.
Following its introduction, debate on the bill was adjourned for five calendar days, according to standing order.
INTRODUCED: PETROLEUM (ONSHORE) AMENDMENT (LIVERPOOL PLAINS PROHIBITION) BILL 2023
The Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment (Liverpool Plains Prohibition) Bill 2023 was introduced by the Hon Jeremy Buckingham (Legalise Cannabis Party).
The bill seeks to prohibit prospecting for, or mining of, coal seam gas in the Liverpool Plains area. To do this, it would amend the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 to prevent the granting of petroleum titles in the Liverpool Plains, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Warrumbungle Shire local government areas, and also amend the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to prohibit development for the purpose of facilitating petroleum extraction in the area.
Speaking to the second reading, Mr Buckingham said the bill would ring fence the mistakes of the past and protect the Liverpool Plains – which he described as a highly productive food bowl that has sustained the Gomeroi people for millennia and will continue to sustain the people of Australia if it is protected under the provisions of the bill. Mr Buckingham noted that the bill would ensure that any pending applications and renewals would be refused, and that any previously approved petroleum authorisations or titles where mining or prospecting operations were yet to begin would be cancelled, all without any compensation payable.
Debate on the bill was then adjourned for five calendar days, according to standing order.
NEW INQUIRY INTO UNDERGROUNDING INFRASTRUCTURE
Among the day’s general motions, the House agreed to establish a new select committee to inquire into the feasibility of undergrounding the transmission infrastructure for renewable energy projects in NSW, moved by Ms Cate Faehrmann (The Greens).
This follows a recent inquiry into the same matter by the Council’s State Development Committee, whose report – including dissenting statements from some committee members – can be found here.
The following motions were debated in the House over the course of the day:
|Topic of motion (click link for details)||Moved by||Agreed to?|
|Eraring power station||The Hon Mark Latham (Independent)||Agreed to, as amended|
|Ventilation in schools (with the debate also continued in the Hansard record here)||Dr Amanda Cohn (The Greens)||Agreed to, as amended|
|State credit rating||The Hon Cameron Murphy (Labor)||Agreed to on division (Ayes: 25 / Noes: 15)|
|Proposed Wamberal seawall||Ms Abigail Boyd (The Greens)||Agreed to, as amended|
|Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023||The Hon Emily Suvaal (Labor)||Agreed to|
|Passing of Jeremy Jones AM||The Hon Susan Carter (Liberal)||Agreed to|
|Qatar Airways decision||The Hon Chris Rath (Liberal)||Negatived on division (Ayes: 18 / Noes: 19)|
|Landcare Week 2023||The Hon Bob Nanva (Labor)||Agreed to|
|Rental vacancy audit||The Hon Jacqui Munro (Liberal)||Agreed to|
|Condolence motion – Joy McKean||The Hon Emily Suvaal (Labor)||Agreed to|
In addition to the above motions debated in the chamber, the following motions were agreed to without debate, during the morning’s formal business:
- Opening of upgraded Cahill Street Playground, moved by the Hon Mark Buttigieg (Labor)
- Carillon Business Awards 2023, moved by the Hon Sam Farraway (Nationals)
- Passing of Louise Kuchel, moved by Ms Abigail Boyd (The Greens)
ORDERS FOR PAPERS
|Request (click link for details)||Moved by||Agreed to?||Due date|
|Papers relating to Department Liaison Officers in the Office of the Minister for Transport||The Hon Natalie Ward (Liberal)||Agreed to, as amended||1 October 2023|
|Papers relating to the tasering incident in Cooma (further order)||The Hon Damien Tudehope (Liberal)||Agreed to, as amended||27 September 2023|
DOCUMENTS TABLED AND REPORTED IN THE HOUSE
Among the papers tabled on Wednesday were a range of statutory reports relating to state-owned corporations. Find all documents tabled and reported in our Tabled Papers Database.