ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Greens Minister Shane Rattenbury today met to review progress on the Parliamentary Agreement for the 8th Assembly.
The Parliamentary Agreement is a shared agenda to be implemented over the four year term of the government covering all portfolio areas. The Agreement was made in 2012 to formalise the relationship between the ACT Greens and the ACT Labor Party to form Government until the next election in October 2016, when the Agreement expires. The parties remain committed to achieving Agreement items and recommit to citing the Agreement when initiatives are delivered.
The review of progress has shown substantial progress across all areas of the Agreement including draft legislation, funded initiatives and policy development. The majority of items in the Agreement are either completed, or on track and on time, and a substantial number of items received funding in the 2014-15 Budget.
The campaign to allow medicinal cannabis is growing, following from my tabling of a Greens discussion paper and draft legislation last week. You can read my speech here or email my office to let me know your views.
The ACT will be the only jurisdiction to defy the Abbott Government’s attempt to remove the role of the Commonwealth from environmental protection, with a Bill tabled yesterday which delivers on the Parliamentary Agreement item to maintain an ongoing approvals role for the Federal Government in environment protection matters.
Disappointingly in the Assembly this fortnight, the old parties passed a Bill making it harder for independents and small parties to get elected.
This is a win for communities across Australia who have demonstrated their abhorrence with George Brandis’ proposal to water down the Racial Discrimination Act,” said ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury.
“The overwhelming response from the community was a powerful rejection of what was a divisive proposal.
“This is a clear message that Australia does not want to be a country where people have the right to be bigots.
The 5 members in 5 electorates (5X5) model that was passed in the Legislative Assembly today is a poor outcome for democracy, and a wasted opportunity to enhance our electoral system, said ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury.
“While the ACT Greens support an increase in the size of the Legislative Assembly, the 5x5 model benefits only the ALP and the Canberra Liberals while delivering a less democratic Assembly for the people of the ACT,” said Mr Rattenbury.
“Five member electorates will raise the quota to get elected, and will make it harder for independents and small parties to get elected, which will mean less diversity and community representation.
ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury, today confirmed that the ACT Government will deliver on the Parliamentary Agreement item to maintain an ongoing approvals role for the Federal Government in environment protection matters.
“It is extremely important that the Federal Government maintains a role in approving proposals within the ACT that may affect matters of national environmental significance,” said Mr Rattenbury.
Today I am tabling an exposure draft of legislation that would allow, for the first time, sick and dying people in the ACT to legally access medicinal cannabis as a treatment for their illness.
I am also tabling an accompanying discussion paper, which seeks feedback on the draft legislation from the community, from experts, and from other stakeholders.
The key motivation for taking up this issue, on behalf of the ACT Greens, is one of compassion. People who are ill and dying, or enduring chronic pain or debilitating symptoms, should be able to access appropriate treatments to help alleviate their symptoms.
Cannabis can be one of those appropriate treatments. Its use as a medical treatment is supported by strong medical evidence. This is backed up – as we’ve no doubt all seen – by strong anecdotal evidence.
Regulation of medicinal cannabis is workable and we already have numerous other jurisdictions around the world we can look to for guidance. The model I have proposed in this exposure draft is based on a model used in Canada for many years, but it is flexible and open to change either now or after an initial period of operation.