1. Standing order 230A of the Legislative Council provides that, unless otherwise ordered, a bill implementing uniform legislation, when read a first time, stands referred to the Uniform Legislation and General Purposes Committee for inquiry and report within 30 days of the bill’s first reading.
2. The effectiveness and efficiency of the Committee’s scrutiny of uniform legislation is affected by many factors including:
3. Early identification of bills that will fall within the remit of standing order 230A when introduced into the Legislative Council enables the Committee to commence preliminary research. In this manner the Committee endeavours to perform its mandate, assist in the Council’s scrutiny of the bill and report within the 30-day reporting period.
- the identification of a bill as one to which standing order 230A will apply when it is introduced into the Council; and
- the adequate and timely provision by the Government of relevant supporting documentation.
4. Noting an increase in uniform legislation being introduced into Parliament the Committee resolved to conduct an inquiry into the matters more particularly listed as follows:
5. The Committee considers that the matters recommended in this report are immediately achievable and are reflective of the spirit of other circulars issued by the Premier and the Department of Local Government.
(a) the development, formulation and recording of proposals or agreements whose implementation would require the enactment of uniform legislation;
(b) the means by which uniform legislation (which may stand referred to the Committee for inquiry) might be identified; and
(c) the existence and availability of supporting documentation relevant to the Committee’s inquiries into uniform legislation.
6. The Committee tables this report with the expectation that the report will:
7. The Committee is interested in pursuing other aspects of its terms of reference for this inquiry in the near future.
- facilitate the early identification of bills to which standing order 230A applies; and
- improve the type and quality of information provided to the Committee resulting in greater transparency of uniform legislation introduced into Parliament.
8. Recommendations are grouped as they appear in the text at the page number indicated:
Recommendation 1: The Committee recommends that the Government ensure that a Premier’s Circular is issued in the form attached as Appendix 7 to this report as soon as possible.
Recommendation 2: The Committee recommends that all government departments and agencies amend their procedural documentation to alert staff to the requirements of the Premier’s Circular referred to in Recommendation 1.
Recommendation 3: The Committee recommends that until such time as a Premier’s Circular is issued all government departments and agencies amend their procedural documentation to include reference to the matters raised in the draft circular attached as Appendix 7 to this report.