Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders: Equality Bills

Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders: Equality Bills

(Suspension of Orders, 22 August 2023, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)


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By leave: I would like to put on the record my thanks to the Government for facilitating the introduction of the two cognate bills this Thursday. I also thank my crossbench colleagues, particularly the member for Balmain and the member for Ballina, whose legislation otherwise would have been introduced, for their support for that. It is their bills that are being delayed and were next to be dealt with, not the member for Cootamundra's bill. This is a piece of legislation about which there is significant public interest. A number of members have been contacted already about it. The motion facilitates the process of a substantial piece of legislation, which amends some 22 Acts, to be introduced in a fulsome fashion for community consultation before any debate on the provision, which is likely later in the year.

I understand that this is frustrating for the Opposition. I acknowledge that opposing the suspension does not indicate how they will consult on or consider the legislation that I will seek to introduce. It is good to have a conversation about the use of more time for private members' legislation. That consultation should occur through the Standing Orders and Procedure Committee. During the time of the former Government, I myself struggled at times to get debate time outside of private members' time to introduce and progress legislation in which there was specific public interest. In conclusion, this is a really important bill. It will amend some 22 Acts. This reform is of significant public interest. I have consulted widely with the Government and the crossbench, and I look forward to working with the Opposition on it as well. I commend the suspension to the House.

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