It was a legislation-packed day on Thursday, when the Legislative Council passed the three cognate budget bills and also agreed to bills relating to opal mining, radiation control, City of Sydney council elections and changes to various health Acts. Meanwhile, the Electoral Funding Amendment Bill 2023 made a return following its referral for inquiry, and a statute law bill was introduced to help keep the state’s statute book up to date. Read on for more…
PASSED: THE BILLS OF THE BUDGET
The annual appropriation bills are the key legislation of the budget, allowing for the funding of government and other services throughout the year. After being introduced in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday (when the Treasurer, a member of the Upper House, delivered his official budget speech from the Assembly chamber), the two appropriation bills arrived bundled as ‘cognate’ bills with a third related bill – allowing for their simultaneous consideration by the House.
The bills were:
- The Appropriation Bill 2023, which authorises the appropriation of monies from the state’s ‘Consolidated Fund’ (NSW’s main source of funding). These monies are to be used for the ordinary annual services of the government in 2023/24, being allocated to departments of the public service and various special offices.
- The Appropriation (Parliament) Bill 2023, which appropriates monies specifically for the services of the NSW Parliament in 2023/24.
- The Treasury and Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2023, which makes a number of changes to Acts that are administered by the Treasurer and the Minister for Finance, including in relation to revenue raising (such as increasing certain duties, removing certain duty exemptions and providing for other schemes and charges). The bill also allows for unspent money from three funds in the state’s Special Deposits Account to be transferred to the Consolidated Fund.
Following the Treasurer’s second reading speech in the Council, the second reading debate saw contributions from members of the Opposition, The Greens, Independent the Hon Mark Latham, the Government and the Animal Justice Party. These proceedings can be read in Hansard here.
With the second reading of all three bills agreed to on the voices, the House resolved into committee of the whole to consider amendments.
As noted in an earlier blog, traditionally the two appropriation bills are agreed to by the Council without amendment and indeed on Thursday members in committee of the whole agreed to both the Appropriation and Appropriation (Parliament) Bills as read, before going on to debate proposed changes to the Treasury and Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill. (Read about what happened when the Council agreed to amendments to one of the appropriation bills back in 2020.)
In committee, three Greens amendments were moved relating to electric vehicles, including to push back the date on which a road user charge would apply to new electric vehicle sales and transfers. These amendments were agreed to on the voices. Three amendments were also moved by the Opposition, relating to the bill’s changes to the Land Tax Management Act 1956 in respect to the operation of land tax thresholds. These were negatived on the voices.
With the committee’s report adopted and the third reading of the budget bills agreed to on the voices, the bills were returned to the Assembly for consideration of the Council’s amendments to the Treasury and Revenue Legislation Amendment Bill 2023. Later in the sitting, the House received a message that these changes had been agreed to, with all three bills then ready for the Governor’s assent.
REINTRODUCED: ELECTORAL FUNDING AMENDMENT BILL 2023
The Electoral Funding Amendment Bill 2023 was first introduced in the Council back in August. It seeks to amend the Electoral Funding Act 2018 to increase the cap on electoral expenditure by third-party campaigners for state election campaigns. For more information about the bill, see this previous blog post.
During a later sitting, the House referred the bill to the Premier and Finance Committee for inquiry and report by 11 September 2023 (interestingly, this was done by amending a motion relating to a report by the Selection of Bills Committee).
With the inquiry report having been tabled, Special Minister of State John Graham again moved in the House that the bill be read a second time, and debate was adjourned.
Procedural insight: Wondering why this bill had two second readings, with one moved back in August and the other on Thursday? The bill was referred for inquiry under standing order 141 – and on the tabling of a report referred under that order, the second reading of the bill is set down as an order of the day for a later hour. When the order of the day is called on, the second read is moved again.
INTRODUCED: STATUTE LAW (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) BILL (NO 2) 2023
The Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill (No 2) 2023 was introduced in the Council by Minister John Graham to make a suite of minor amendments to a number of different Acts. This is the second statute law bill relating to ‘miscellaneous provisions’ introduced in the Council this year, and like its predecessor the bill’s suite of changes are broadly to ensure the state’s statute book remains current and accurate – making minor policy changes, repealing redundant provisions, and making corrections and updates as required.
You can find more details of the latest bill in the Minister’s second read speech here. After the bill’s introduction, according to standing order, debate was adjourned for five calendar days.
PASSED: MINING AMENDMENT (MINERAL CLAIMS – OPAL) BILL 2023
The Mining Amendment (Mineral Claims – Opal) Bill was introduced in the previous sitting week and addresses invalidity and liability issues relating to mineral claims for opal mining in the Lightning Ridge Mineral Claims District and the White Cliffs Mineral Claims District.
Further information is available in our blog post covering events in the House on Thursday 14 September.
On Thursday, the Government, Opposition and The Greens all made contributions to the second reading debate. See all members’ contributions in Hansard.
As no amendments were put forward, after both the second and third readings were agreed to on the voices, the bill was sent to the Assembly for consideration.
PASSED: RADIATION CONTROL AMENDMENT BILL 2023
Following its introduction in the Council during the previous sitting week, the Radiation Control Amendment Bill was debated on Thursday.
In her earlier second reading speech, the Hon Penny Sharpe explained the bill updates the Radiation Control Act 1990 to ensure that radiation is managed safely to protect human health and the environment, and so that people who deal with radiation are more accountable for its safe management. As explained in our blog post on the introduction of the bill, the bill was prepared in response to recommendations of the 2021 statutory review Act.
During Thursday’s second reading debate, the Government, Opposition and the Greens all made contributions. Members’ contributions can be read in full in Hansard.
With no amendments, the second and third readings were agreed to on the voices, and the bill was forwarded to the Assembly for concurrence.
PASSED: CITY OF SYDNEY AMENDMENT BILL 2023
Having passed through the Assembly earlier in the week, the City of Sydney Amendment Bill 2023 was passed by the Council on Thursday without amendment.
The bill makes two key amendments to the City of Sydney Act 1988. First, it repeals special provisions applying to elections for the City of Sydney Council, by which the votes of non-residential electors received additional weighting. Second, it dissolves the Central Sydney Traffic and Transport Committee and repeals provisions relating to its functions and operations. Further details of the bill can be found in the second reading speech delivered by Minister Tara Moriarty.
Members from the Government, Opposition and the Greens participated in the second reading debate, with no amendments moved. See all members’ contributions in the Hansard record. The second and third readings were agreed to on the voices, after which the bill was returned to the Assembly, ready for the Governor’s assent.
PASSED: HEALTH LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (MISCELLANEOUS) BILL 2023
After being passed by the Assembly earlier in the week, the Health Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2023 was introduced in the Council on Thursday by Parliamentary Secretary the Hon Mark Buttigieg, on behalf of the Hon Courtney Houssos, Minister for Finance and Minister for Natural Resources.
The bill makes a collection of changes to various items of legislation, including amending…
- The Health Administration Act 1982 to clarify the power of the Health Secretary to direct a health services organisation to conduct a serious adverse event review of a reportable incident
- The Human Tissue Act 1983 to clarify that information about a deceased organ or tissue doner may be disclosed with the consent of the donor’s next of kin
- The Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 to provide the Secretary of NSW Health with the power to order that in certain circumstances seized goods are forfeited to the state and may be disposed of
- The Public Health Act 2010 to remove certain procedural steps before a code of conduct for non-health practitioners can be made.
Further details of the bill are available in Mr Buttigieg’s second reading speech in the Hansard record.
During the second reading debate, representatives of The Greens, the Opposition and the Government made contributions. See the full debate here.
When the House resolved into committee of the whole:
- Ms Boyd on behalf of The Greens moved an amendment that sought to prevent the appointment to a local health district board of any person who within the last 12 months has had a financial relationship with a large consultancy business or a consultancy business that has provided services to a local health district or NSW Health . This was negatived on the voices.
- Ms Higginson on behalf of The Greens moved six amendments in globo relating to the type of inspectors that are to be considered inspectors under the Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2008.
The bill as amended was then agreed to on the voices, as was its third reading, after which it was returned to the Assembly, ready for the Governor’s assent.
The following motions were agreed to without debate, during the morning’s formal business:
- ‘Elephant Mother’ documentary, moved by the Hon Emma Hurst (Animal Justice Party)
- Australian Stihl Timbersports, moved by the Hon Mark Banasiak (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
- The passing of Mr Harold Hunt OAM, moved by the Hon Jacqui Munro (Liberal)
- Africultures Festival 2023, moved by the Hon Mark Buttigieg (Labor)
ORDERS FOR PAPERS
|Request (click link for details)||Moved by||Agreed to?||Due date|
|Variation to an order for papers relating to Department Liaison Officers in the Office of the Minister for Transport||The Hon John Graham (Labor) moved a variation to an earlier resolution of the House agreeing to this order||Agreed to, as amended||4 October 2023|
DOCUMENTS TABLED AND REPORTED IN THE HOUSE
Among the documents tabled on Thursday were the usual statements of public interest accompanying each new bill. Find all documents tabled and reported in our Tabled Papers Database.