Thursday, 16 June 2016
Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill
The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Very briefly, for the assistance of the council, I indicate that I will not be supporting the passage of this bill at this particular time. I would like to thank the Hon. Tammy Franks particularly for organising a meeting with the APY Executive this morning and I would like to thank all those who came along to that to express some of their concerns. As has been mentioned before, there is little doubt that there are issues with the executive as it stands at present, but I do not think those concerns give rise to the particular action that the minister is wanting to take at this point in time.
I note with some interest the Hon. Tung Ngo’s contribution to this bill, in which he said that he saw this bill as being less about dividing the minister and the executive and more about making sure that those two parties can work well together. As far as I can tell, they already have a lot of tools to use to work together and I have not really seen the evidence to suggest that those tools have been used fully enough to allow us to talk about further action. It seems to me that there is more a need to focus on following due process at the moment before we talk about putting new processes in place.
Whether you are a minister or another member in this place, or anyone else for that matter, I believe that if you want to make the rules you have to follow the rules first, you have to stick to the rules. Therefore, I think we need to see the minister stick a bit more to the rules and the powers that he has at present before we start changing those.
I also noted with a great deal of interest that the Hon. Mr Ngo, and I hope he will not mind me mentioning this but I guess he is on the record, if I heard him correctly he indicated that he himself did not know the reason behind the minister wanting to rush this piece of legislation through the parliament this week. If he, as a member of the Labour government, of which the responsible minister is a part, does not know the reasons for the urgency behind this particular measure then the rest of us do not have a hope in hell of knowing. So, I think that shows quite a strong communication breakdown there that perhaps needs to be worked on.
To conclude, I would like to quote from the conclusion of the Law Society letter. I will only quote the conclusion because I know that other members have quoted it almost in its entirety. The conclusion states:
In view of the foregoing concerns, the Law Society recommends that the Parliament give careful consideration to the provisions of the Bill and allows time for proper public consultation, before the Bill is passed.
So, nobody is saying that these measures are slightly unnecessary, nobody is saying that we have to blow up the APY Executive and start again, we are simply saying: let us have some more time to think about these measures and what they really mean for the APY Executive and people living on the lands.
Then if we go back and, having used the measures that the minister already has in his power, we find that they are not enough, we can have a due conversation about putting other measures in place. But at this point in time I am not convinced that it is necessary to do it right now and, therefore, I will not be supporting this bill—but that is not to say that I do not also appreciate the time urgency, if you like, of another aspect of this bill to do with the ICAC.
I am more than happy to deal with that expeditiously but I do not want to pass a bill that I feel I have not had time to properly consider which could have big negative ramifications for people living on the lands. It could be that this bill is harmless in that effect but, unfortunately, things that I have been told as early as this morning would indicate otherwise and I do not want to be responsible for creating a mess or being part of a parliament that created a mess that we then have to go and clean up. So I will not be supporting the bill at this particular time.