In another eventful day for the Council, the House again considered the Government’s response to orders for the production of documents. The documents ordered are now expected to be provided by 5.00 pm Friday 8 June. The heavy legislative workload continued in the lead up to the winter recess, with the House adjourning after midnight for the second time this week. In a significant development, the House agreed to amendments to the Government Sector Finance bills. The amendments, if agreed to by the Legislative Assembly, would reconstitute the Public Accounts Committee as a joint parliamentary committee with members from both Houses.
The week began with the House debating an issue of great significance for its role as a House of review: the Government’s response to orders of the House for the production of documents, and the House’s powers to compel the production of these documents. After a lengthy debate the House ultimately agreed to censure the Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council for the Government’s non-compliance with these orders. The House then turned its attention to legislation, agreeing to three bills and forwarding them to the Assembly for concurrence.
On Wednesday the House returned two government bills to the Legislative Assembly without amendment. One of these bills was the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Bill 2018, making New South Wales the first jurisdiction to ‘sign up’ to the national redress scheme. A further two government bills were introduced and debate was adjourned for five calendar days.
On Tuesday the House debated the Transport Administration Amendment (Sydney Metro) Bill 2018. Debate was interrupted and continued on Wednesday. The House also considered whether to refer its first bill to a committee via the new Selection of Bills Committee procedure, in addition to taking note of several committee reports.