The Subordinate Legislation and Publications Committee of the Northern Territory hosted a meeting of the Working Group of Chairs and Deputy Chairs of Australian Scrutiny of Primary and Delegated Legislation Committees at Parliament House, Darwin on February 14 and 15, 2000.
The Working Group comprises the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of scrutiny committees from all Australian jurisdictions. Delegates from all Australian States and Territories attended the Darwin meeting. The Commonwealth was represented by committee staff due to the meeting clashing with Federal Parliament sitting dates.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a proposal to form a national committee comprising representatives from all Australian jurisdictions for the purpose of scrutinising national schemes of legislation.
Delegates could not reach agreement regarding the proposal for a national committee. As a result the Working Group of Chairs and Deputy Chairs did not endorse the proposal.
However, delegates did agree to continue their dialogue on the issue of national schemes of legislation in an effort to find an appropriate national structure to enable effective scrutiny of this legislation. It was agreed that the Working Group of Chairs and Deputy Chairs should be formalised and a National Executive appointed to coordinate future discussion on the issue.
The following resolutions were passed by delegates:
(a) The following dates be the future meeting dates of the Working Group of Chairs and Deputy Chairs of Australian Scrutiny of Primary and Delegated Legislation Committees.
(b) (i) That the Working Group of Chairs and Deputy Chairs of Australian Scrutiny of Primary and Delegated Legislation Committees be formalised to elect a National Executive.
1. May 2000 – Brisbane
2. October 2000 – Alice Springs
3. February 2001 - Tasmania
4. May 2001
5. October 2001
6. February 2002
7. May 2002
8. October 2002
9. May 2003
(ii) That the National Executive shall have a National Chairperson, one Senior Vice-President and four Vice-Presidents.
(iii) That the National Chairperson holds office for a period of two years and that the position rotates.
(c) That up to four members from this meeting attend Canberra whilst the National Parliament is in session and before the end of March 2000 to appraise Senator Cooney’s and Senator Coonan’s respective Committees of the deliberations and resolutions of this meeting for the purpose of seeking their support and cooperation.
(d) This meeting remains committed to the resolution carried in the July 1999 Sydney Conference to establish a system of national scrutiny of National Schemes of Legislation (NSL).
(e) The meeting defines NSL as any legislation, which is enacted or made or proposed to be enacted or made, in more than one Australian jurisdiction as a result of an intergovernmental agreement.
(f) Being mindful of the divergent views expressed at this meeting but wishing to move forward as a group on the establishment of such a national committee, this meeting resolves to:
(g) That a comprehensive list of NSL, which currently exists, be drawn up by each Committee to enable ongoing monitoring of proposed amendments to primary and subordinate NSL legislation in the future.
1. ensure that a regular exchange of information and views takes place;
2. ensure that all Federal, State and Territory Committees receive the earliest possible advice of any proposed or potential NSL and assign a staff member from each committee for such a purpose;
3. have the working group make further recommendations concerning the establishment of a formal national committee;
4. enable the State and Territory committees to address the issues identified; and
5. request that the working group report on their activities and present further recommendations at the next biennial conference.