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Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition)(Public Money) Amendment Bill

Second Reading

Adjourned debate on second reading

(Continued from 12 April 2016)

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 17:58 :32 ): I rise to speak very briefly on the Nuclear Waste Storage Facility (Prohibition) (Public Money) Amendment Bill. The purpose of the bill has been well canvassed by other honourable members; suffice to say that, based on legal advice obtained by the government, the bill is considered necessary to ensure that section 13 of the current act, which prevents public money from being spent on encouraging or financing any activity associated with the construction or operation of a nuclear waste storage facility in this state, is not contravened as a result of community conversation.

The Hon. Rob Lucas and the Hon. Mark Parnell have already flagged quite appropriately the need for this legislation to operate retrospectively if indeed the government has not acted contrary to section 13 of the act as it currently stands. I too share those concerns and ask the minister to clarify the government's position with respect to this issue during the committee stage debate.

As we know, there are amendments now on file regarding the bill, and, as I understand it, the government has indicated that it is willing to support those amendments proposed by the Hon. Mark Parnell. I am not sure exactly what the government's final position is with respect to the opposition's amendments at this stage, but I will certainly give due consideration to all of the proposed changes. I look forward to particularly hearing from the Hon. Rob Lucas with respect to the reasoning behind the proposed amendments.

In closing, as alluded to by other honourable members, this bill is not about whether or not we support the establishment of a nuclear-storage facility and, as such, I will not get into the merits of that debate at this point in time. Indeed, I am sure that there will be ample opportunity to explore that issue in the detail that it deserves through informed debate in due course. That said, I am willing to support the second reading of the current bill today, and I certainly look forward to hearing from the minister in relation to all of the questions that have been placed on the public record. With that, I support the second reading of the bill.

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