Electoral Amendment (Legislative Council Ballot Papers) Bill 2015 No.36 – in Committee

Read into Hansard on Tuesday 27th October 2015

ELECTORAL AMENDMENT (LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL BALLOT PAPERS) BILL 2015 (No. 36)

In Committee (resumed from 25 August 2015)

[3.13 p.m.]

Clause 6 – Section 98 amended (Design of Council ballot papers)

Madam DEPUTY CHAIR – Clauses 4 and 5 have already been agreed to.  We need to deal with clause 6 and then we need to recommit clauses 4 and 5 depending on the outcome of 6.  Would you like to propose the amendment to clause 6?

Mr HALL – Yes.  Madam Deputy Chair, I move –
That clause 6, page 5, proposed new subsection (1A), be amended by leaving out ‘then, provided he or she is not a registered member,’.

Mr VALENTINE – The important thing for me is transparency.  It is the most important thing.  Presenting a truthful position to the community is the most important aspect of it.

Often, it does not matter what you say anyway.  There is a public perception that overrides that because others will lie about you and that will get traction.  There is an element of that in this.

Whatever is in here needs to be transparent.  The problem I have with this staying in, is that leaving it in means that it is only dealing out 100 people from using the ‘independent’ handle in that particular party.  At the end of the day, for others who are members, and are not significantly registered members, they can use the ‘independent’ handle because we do not know whether they are or are not a member of the party.

That is not totally transparent either.  To my mind, leaving it in could promulgate a lie if it cannot be checked.  That is not totally transparent.  One part of me says, ‘Yes, take it out,’ but the other part of me says that we need something in there that is more transparent.  I do have an element of sympathy for what the member for Murchison is trying to achieve – not for her, but sympathy with the statements made in the amendment – although it needs a slight amendment to it to make it truly accurate.

Ms Forrest – That is fine.  I am happy to ask OPC for the right words.

Mr VALENTINE – That is fine.  We will get to that debate possibly.  I am not unhappy to see this go, because it is not totally transparent as it stands.  There is an opportunity to put something else in its place.

The Committee divided –
AYES 10                                NOES 4
Mrs Armitage                      Mr Farrell (Teller)
Mr Armstrong                     Ms Forrest
Mr Dean                               Mr Gaffney
Mr Finch                               Mrs Taylor
Dr Goodwin
Mr Hall
Mrs Hiscutt (Teller)
Mr Mulder
Ms Rattray
Mr Valentine

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 6 as amended agreed to.

Clauses 7 and 8 agreed to.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.

ELECTORAL AMENDMENT (LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL BALLOT PAPERS) BILL 2015 (No. 36)

Committee of the Whole Council

Amendments agreed to.

Third Reading

[4.38 p.m.]

Mr VALENTINE (Hobart) – Mr President, I find myself in exactly the same position.  The reason I voted for the amendment as I did, was because it was more transparent than what was actually in the bill.  I also believe that this ends up basically possibly – I will not say ‘will’, but possibly – promulgating a lie to the community if people stand and they are a member of a party and they can put ‘independent’ next to their name.  I think unless they can say independent Liberal or independent Labor, which will not be accepted either, it is promulgating a lie.

I will be voting against this for that reason.  Had the member for Murchison moved her amendment, I would have supported that amendment, but then it would not have been accepted by the Government.

A member interjecting.

Mr VALENTINE – I cannot do it; it was not my amendment.  I actually stated that at the time.  That is the way it is.  I believe that the community needs what is the most transparent, and this is not the most transparent.

The Council divided –
AYES 9                                  NOES 5
Mrs Armitage                      Mr Farrell
Mr Armstrong                     Ms Forrest
Mr Dean                               Mr Gaffney
Mr Finch                               Mrs Taylor
Dr Goodwin                         Mr Valentine (Teller)
Mr Hall
Mrs Hiscutt
Mr Mulder (Teller)
Ms Rattray

Motion agreed to.

Bill read the third time.