UP to nine ministers could be appointed as part of the ACT ministry, if a new bill is passed in the Legislative Assembly.Chief Minister Katy Gallagher introduced the new bill into the Assembly today, and said a larger ministry will enable a better spread of workloads across the executive arm of government.
“This legislation is designed to meet the needs of our growing community by increasing the numbers of ministers to better serve the community whilst also allowing for improved management of ministerial workloads,” Ms Gallagher said.
“Now is the time to act and to create greater flexibility for future governments and while this bill would allow for up to nine ministers, the appropriate number for appointment would be left to the Chief Minister of the day.”
Despite the support of the ACT opposition to increase the number of ministers, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher has previously resisted appointing a sixth minister because that would leave only three government backbenchers.
In 2012 the ACT Government commissioned an Expert Reference Group to undertake a review into the size of the ACT Legislative Assembly. The ERG considered the previous reviews into the size of the Assembly, limitations of the Hare Clark System and options for increasing the size of the Assembly.
“The ERG report, released publicly in April 2013 provided compelling evidence that the small size of the Assembly, and particularly that of the ministry, poses a significant risk to the good governance of the ACT,” the Chief Minister said.
“This Government believes that the Assembly needs to be of a sufficient size to permit the appointment of an appropriate number of ministers, government back benchers to fulfil parliamentary roles, as well as allowing for a robust opposition and cross bench.”
“As we enter our second century as a city and approach 25 years of self government, this bill goes part way to implementing the necessary growth to better serve our constituents.”