ACT government abandons statutory process

Mark Parton

IN a judgement on the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club’s lease, Chief Justice Helen Murrell supported a majority of complaints made by the Greyhound Club surrounding the Labor-Green government’s decision delay to renew the club’s lease in April last year.

Today, Friday, February 23, Chief Justice Murrell stated that:

  • The Authority was under an implied statutory duty to decide the Clubs application;
  • The Authority should have decided the application according to the law at the time and disregarding the possibility of legislative change;
  • The Authority was required to decide the application ‘as soon as possible’ under section 151b of the Legislation Act 2001 (ACT), and it did not do so; and
  • The Authorities deliberate delay in deciding the application amounted to a refusal to perform its statutory duty to make a decision.

Despite this, the judge made a discretionary decision not to overturn the original decision.

Shadow Minister for Gaming and Racing Mark Parton says for the second time in less than 24 hours, a respected independent voice, this time a Supreme Court Judge, has ruled that this government has abandoned statutory process.

“Once again, the government is changing the rules to suit its own agenda,” he says. 

“The judge very clearly rules that the Labor-Greens government and ACTPLA did the wrong thing again, but that they’re going to get away with it.”

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