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2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview

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ISSN 2203-5249


2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview Hannah Gobbett

Politics and Public Administration Section

Executive summary • This paper provides an overview of the issues and outcome for the 15 October 2016 election for the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Legislative Assembly.

• The two major issues of the election campaign were the enlargement of the Legislative Assembly (from 17 to 25 Members) and redistribution of all electorates, and the establishment of a light rail network through northern Canberra.

• Following the election, neither major party gained the 13 seats required to form a majority in the Legislative Assembly. The Australian Labor Party (12 MLAs) reached a Parliamentary Agreement with the two Greens MLAs to form Government. The Canberra Liberal Party formed the Opposition.

• The 2016 ACT election result continues a period of stability in ACT politics that has occurred since 2008, whereby the ALP forms government with the Greens through an official Parliamentary Agreement.

• For the first time in Australian federal and state parliamentary history, a majority of women (13 of the 25 MLAs) were elected to Parliament.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 2


Executive summary ..................................................................................... 1

Introduction ................................................................................................ 3

Background ................................................................................................. 3

2015 electoral redistributions ............................................................................ 3

Party changes and controversies ........................................................................ 4

Australian Labor Party ...................................................................................... 4

Liberal Party of Australia .................................................................................. 5

Light Rail ............................................................................................................. 6

Campaign .................................................................................................... 7

The results .................................................................................................. 8

Summary ............................................................................................................. 8

Women ............................................................................................................... 8

General election results by electorate ............................................................... 8

The outcome .............................................................................................. 10

Forming Government ....................................................................................... 10

The ninth Legislative Assembly ........................................................................ 10

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 3

Introduction Since the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) gained self-government in 1989 the ACT has had a unicameral Parliament (where the sole parliamentary chamber is the Legislative Assembly) which is elected every four years. The ninth election for the ACT Legislative Assembly was held on Saturday 15 October 2016.

Twenty-five Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) were elected using the Hare-Clark proportional representation system across five electorates following an electoral redistribution. The Legislative Assembly expanded from 17 MLAs in three electorates (Ginninderra and Brindabella, five MLAs; Molonglo, seven MLAs) to 25 MLAs drawn equally from five electorates (Brindabella, Ginninderra, Kurrajong, Murrumbidgee and Yerrabi).1

The Australian Labor Party (ALP), in power since the 2001 election, was re-elected at the 2016 general election. Following the signing of a Parliamentary Agreement with the ACT Greens (AG) Labor formed government under Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA (electorate of Molonglo, 2006-16; Kurrajong, 2016-). The official Opposition is the Liberal Party of Australia (LIB), under leader Alistair Coe MLA (Ginninderra, 2008-16; Yerrabi, 2016-).

Background 2015 electoral redistributions The Electoral Act 1992 (ACT) requires the ACT Electoral Commission to conduct a redistribution of electoral boundaries prior to each ACT Legislative Assembly general election.2 The redistribution must begin ‘as soon as practicable’ after the 3rd Saturday in October, two years after the previous election.3

In March 2013 the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988 (Cth) was amended by the Federal Parliament in response to previous reviews of ACT governance. As a result of amendments to subsections 8(2) and (3) of that Act, the Legislative Assembly was given:

... the power to determine the size of the Assembly without requiring the Commonwealth to pass regulations to make any changes to the size of the Assembly.

The Bill provides that any enactment made by the Assembly for the purpose of determining the size of the Assembly will additionally require the approval of a two-thirds majority of the total number of members of the Assembly to come into effect. 4

On 13 December 2012 the then Chief Minister Katy Gallagher MLA (Molonglo, 2001-2014) commissioned an Expert Reference Group (ERG) (chaired by Phillip Green, the ACT Electoral Commissioner) to conduct a community, legislative and historical review into the size of the Legislative Assembly.5 The ERG report, published in April 2013, noted the following factors that supported an increase in the number of members in the Legislative Assembly:

• the Legislative Assembly had not changed in size (17 MLAs) since the ACT was granted self-government in 1989

• the population of the ACT had increased from approximately 275,000 in 1989 to 375,000 in 2012

• the Australian Capital Territory (Self Government) Act 1988 (Cth) had been amended in March 2013 to give the Assembly the ability to set its size should a motion be passed by at least two-thirds of its members

• 11 inquiries had investigated this issue between 1974 and 2012: nine of these had recommended that the Legislative Assembly be larger, and two recommended the Legislative Assembly remain at 17 MLAs.

• the small size of the Assembly and ministry posed ‘significant risk to good government in the ACT’, especially as all other Australian parliaments have at least 25 members

1. ACT Electoral Commission, ACT Legislative Assembly electoral boundaries redistribution 2015: redistribution report, Publishing Services for the ACT Electoral Commission, Canberra, 2015, p. 2. 2. Electoral Act 1992 (ACT). 3. Electoral Act 1992 (ACT), section 37(1)(a). 4. R Lundie and C Madden, Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Amendment Bill 2013, Bills digest, 86, 2012-13, Parliamentary Library,

Canberra, 12 March 2013, p. 2. 5. P Green (Chair), Review into the size of the ACT Legislative Assembly, report, Expert Reference Group on the Size of the ACT Legislative Assembly, ACT Government, Canberra, 28 March 2013, p. iii.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 4

• in comparison to the size of the Northern Territory and Tasmanian ministries (at nine and eight Ministers, respectively), the current five-member Ministry is too small.6

On 5 June 2014 the Australian Capital Territory (Legislative Assembly) Bill 2014 (ACT) was introduced into the Legislative Assembly. The Bill proposed that the Legislative Assembly—at the next election and after the commencement of the Act—would consist of 25 Members.7 It was passed by the Legislative Assembly unanimously in August 2014.

The Electoral Amendment Bill 2014 (ACT) was introduced on 5 June 2014. The Bill amended section 34 of the Electoral Act 1992 (ACT), and provided that the ACT must be divided into five electorates and that five members of the Legislative Assembly must be elected from each electorate.8

The five electorates are:

• Brindabella, derived from the Aboriginal word meaning ‘two kangaroo rats’, also the name associated with the mountain range to the south of Canberra city

• Ginninderra, derived from the Aboriginal word meaning ‘sparkling like the stars’, also the name of the creek that flows through Belconnen which was dammed to form Lake Ginninderra

• Kurrajong, derived from the Aboriginal word for the Kurrajong tree (Brachychiton populneus); Kurrajong Hill was the name given to the Capital Hill (the current site of the Australian Parliament House) by the early settlers

• Murrumbidgee, derived from the Aboriginal word for ‘big water’; also the name of the river that flows through the southern Canberra electorate

• Yerrabi, derived from the Aboriginal word for ‘go’, ‘walk’ and ‘to leave’; Yerrabi Pond is also one of the major water features of the Gungahlin area.9

The Bill passed the Legislative Assembly on 5 August 2014 with opposition from Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury (Kurrajong).10

Party changes and controversies Both major parties had key leadership changes between the 2012 and 2016 elections. Leaders of both parties resigned and were replaced, so the 2016 general election was the first election for Labor Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Liberal Opposition leader Jeremy Hanson MLA (Molonglo 2008-16; Murrumbidgee 2016-).11

Australian Labor Party Following the announcement of ACT Senator Kate Lundy’s resignation from the Federal Parliament, then ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher (from 16 May 2011) resigned from the Legislative Assembly on 23 December 2014 to nominate for the vacant Senate position.12 Gallagher was the sole nomination to fill the March 2015 Senate casual vacancy.13 Following a recount of votes received by Gallagher at the 2012 ACT election, Andrew Barr’s former Chief of Staff Meegan Fitzharris (ALP) was declared Gallagher’s replacement in the ACT Legislative Assembly.14

In a multi-member electorate system such as the Hare-Clark system in use in the ACT, a casual vacancy is filled by appointing a replacement member to Parliament or recounting the votes received by the vacating MLA at the previous election, not a by-election. In the ACT, a ‘recount’ or ‘count-back’ is the method regularly used to replace departing MLAs.15 Votes received by the departing MLA at the previous election are distributed amongst

6. Ibid., p. 1. 7. Elections ACT, ‘ACT Legislative Assembly votes to increase the size of the Assembly to 25 Members from the 2016 election’, ACT Electoral Commission, 6 August 2014; Australian Capital Territory (Legislative Assembly) Act 2014 (ACT). 8. Electoral Amendment Act 2014 (ACT). 9. Elections ACT, 'Electorates 2016 election', ACT Electoral Commission, 27 April 2016. 10. ‘Electoral Amendment Bill 2014’, ACT Legislative Assembly, Debates, 5 August 2014, p. 670. 11. A Green, ‘2016 ACT election preview’, ABC News, n.d. 12. Lundy resigned from the Senate on 24 March 2015. 13. T McIlroy, ‘Gallagher sets a date for her quiet departure’, The Canberra Times, 19 December 2014, p. 4. 14. Elections ACT, 'Casual vacancies in the eighth Legislative Assembly (2012-2016)', ACT Electoral Commission, 29 July 2016; M Gorrey, ‘Fitzharris

looking forward to representing Gungahlin’, The Canberra Times, 16 January 2015, p. 2. 15. Elections ACT, ‘Casual vacancies’, fact sheet, ACT Electoral Commission, 22 September 2016.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 5

those candidates who have indicated that they seek to contest the vacancy according to the preferences on the original ballot papers. Elections ACT states:

For example, a ballot paper that was marked "1-Blue, 2-Vacating MLA" would be counted to "Blue" (if "Blue" is contesting the vacancy). Similarly, a ballot paper that was marked "1-Vacating MLA, 2-Black, 3-Blue" would be counted to "Blue" (if "Blue" is contesting the vacancy but "Black" is not). 16

Andrew Barr was selected as the Chief Minister for the ACT on 11 December 2014, becoming the first openly gay state or territory leader in Australia.17

In December 2015 Fairfax Media outlets reported that Maria Hawthorne, the Chief of Staff of Minister for Police and Emergency Services Joy Burch MLA (Brindabella 2008-), had briefed Construction, Forestry, Mining and Engineering Union (CFMEU) ACT Secretary Dean Hall on a private meeting between Ms Burch and ACT Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers.18 Ms Burch resigned from the Police and Emergency Services Portfolio the following day, but retained her other ministerial responsibilities as Minister for Education and Training, Disability, Arts, and Racing and Gaming until a ministerial reshuffle in January 2016.19

Mary Porter AM (Ginninderra, 2004-2016) resigned from the Legislative Assembly on 19 February 2016 due to illness.20 Following a recount of votes received by Porter at the 2012 election, Jayson Hinder (ALP) was declared Porter’s replacement.21

Liberal Party of Australia Zed Seselja (Molonglo, 2004-13) resigned from the position of Opposition Leader and Leader of the ACT Liberal Party in February 2012 after receiving Liberal Party preselection to contest the Senate at the 2013 federal general election.22 Jeremy Hanson was selected as the Opposition Leader and Leader of the ACT Liberal Party on 11 February 2013.23

On 11 June 2013 Seselja resigned from the Legislative Assembly. Following a recount of the 2012 election votes for the electorate of Molonglo, Nicole Lawder (LIB) replaced Seselja in the Legislative Assembly.24

On 15 July 2016 Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced the appointment of Liberal Party MLA Brendan Smyth (Brindabella, 1998-2016) to the position of Commissioner for International Engagement. Mr Smyth formally resigned from the Legislative Assembly on the same day.25 This change occurred much to the surprise of the Liberal party leadership, who had not known of the resignation until its public announcement.26

Mr Smyth’s resignation caused a ‘count-back’ of the 2012 election ballot papers with the 2016 election less than three months away. As a count-back had previously occurred in the Brindabella electorate following the resignation of Zed Seselja in 2013, one Liberal candidate remained on the ticket: 81 year old Val Jeffrey, who was elected to the Legislative Assembly on 29 July 2016.27 At 81 years of age, Jeffery was the oldest person to sit in the ACT Parliament and oldest person to sit in any state or federal parliament in Australia.28 He attended Parliament for the 11 weeks prior to the election, mainly Question Time and party meetings and was paired for

16. Ibid. 17. ‘Barr is poised to make history’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 December 2014, p. 9. 18. Ms Hawthorn resigned from her position on 15 December 2015 and was cleared by ACT Policing of any criminal conduct. K Lawson and T McIlroy, ‘Police Minister Joy Burch's chief of staff resigns over approach to police’, The Canberra Times, (online edition), 15 December 2015. 19. K Lawson and T McIlroy, ‘Police finish investigation into Joy Burch, Maria Hawthorne and CFMEU’, The Canberra Times, (online edition),

23 March 2016; ACT Legislative Assembly, ‘Joy Burch’, 24 March 2016. 20. ‘Mary Porter resigns ACT Legislative Assembly “sooner than intended” for medical reasons’, ABC News, 22 January 2016. 21. Elections ACT, ‘Casual vacancies in the eighth Legislative Assembly (2012-2016)’, ACT Electoral Commission, 29 July 2016. 22. ACT Legislative Assembly, ‘Members of previous Assemblies (1989-2016)’, 17 October 2016; L Cox, ‘Seselja set for big campaign and even

bigger clan’, The Canberra Times, 4 June 2013, p. 1. 23. ACT Legislative Assembly, ‘Leaders of the Opposition for the ACT’, 22 November 2016. 24. Elections ACT, ‘Casual vacancies in the eighth Legislative Assembly (2012-2016)’, op. cit. 25. Elections ACT, ‘Mr Brendan Smyth MLA resigns - ACT Legislative Assembly casual vacancy announced’, ACT Electoral Commission, 15 July 2016. 26. K Lawson, ‘Brendan Smyth taken out of political race in government appointment’, The Sydney Morning Herald, (online edition), 15 July 2016. 27. Lawson, ibid.; Elections ACT, ‘Casual vacancy count-back result: Val Jeffery to be elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly’, ACT Electoral

Commission, 28 July 2016. 28. K Lawson, ‘Out of the blue ... Jeffrey set to make the trek from Tharwa’, The Canberra Times, 28 July 2016, p. 4.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 6

parliamentary votes ‘to allow flexibility.’29 Mr Jeffrey did not re-contest the election and retired from politics at the 2016 election.

Light Rail As a result of the 2012 Parliamentary Agreement between the Greens and ALP, the ALP had committed to constructing a light rail network as part of their program of reforms for the ACT.30 The ‘Capital Metro’ light rail project was publicly opposed by a number of community and business groups as the planned route of Stage 1 of the project runs through the city to the northern suburbs only, not reaching other areas of Canberra.31

Polling conducted on the issue suggested varying levels of support for the light rail project:

• a June 2014 ACT Government-commissioned survey stated that 55 per cent of respondents supported the project, 34 per cent were opposed and 11 per cent were undecided32

• a June 2015 Unions ACT survey stated that 39 per cent of respondents supported the light rail, 46 per cent of respondents opposed and 15 per cent were undecided33

• an October 2015 Canberra Times survey stated that support for the light rail line was recorded at 49 per cent of respondents, with 47 per cent opposing the project and four per cent undecided34

• an October 2015 ACT Government survey conducted by Piazza Research stated that 56 per cent of respondents supported the light rail project, with 34 per cent opposed.35

As the polls demonstrate, support for light rail fluctuated across time and regions. Media pundits predicted that, as the Stage 1 route travelled through northern Canberra, strong public opposition in other areas could result in a Liberal win at the 2016 election.36

Two independent candidates for the southern electorate of Brindabella announced their opposition to the light rail project early in the election campaign. Andrew Holt (IND) and Joel McKay (IND) both stated that their opposition to the project was a result of the route not benefitting southern Canberra suburbs.37

Stage 2, an extension of the light rail route through the inner south of Canberra via the Parliamentary Triangle, was announced by the Government during the election period (September 2016). Costings are not yet publicly available.38

Capital Metro was vehemently opposed by the Canberra Liberals, who argued that the project was cost prohibitive and could run over schedule.39 Prior to the 2016 election the Opposition stated that, should they be elected, the light rail contract would be cancelled and construction ceased by a Canberra Liberals Government.40 The Liberals stated that they would improve the ACT’s bus network upon winning the 2016 election.41

29. K Lawson, ‘Short and sweet': Val Jeffrey's $30,000 political career’, The Canberra Times, (online edition), 22 August 2016. 30. Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch) and ACT Greens, Parliamentary Agreement for the 8th Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, 2 November 2012, p. 1. 31. B Westcott, ‘Route 2016: Canberra’s light rail journey’, The Canberra Times website. 32. ‘Light rail supported by majority of Canberrans, survey finds’, ABC News, 2 August 2014. 33. ‘More Canberrans oppose light rail than support it, Unions ACT survey shows’, 666 ABC Canberra, ABC, 19 June 2015. 34. T McIlroy, ‘Canberra Times light rail survey results: public opinion polarised on tram line’, The Canberra Times, (online edition),

18 October 2015. 35. T McIlroy and H Belot, ‘Light rail support steady in Canberra: Simon Corbell’, The Canberra Times, (online edition), 18 October 2015. 36. B Raue, ‘ACT election: Labor, light rail and the Liberal surge that never eventuated’, The Guardian, (online edition), 16 October 2016; ‘ACT

election a light rail showdown’, SkyNews, 14 October 2016. 37. K Lawson, ‘Tuggeranong independent announces candidacy for ACT election’, The Canberra Times, (online edition), 1 March 2016; A Holt, ‘Light rail: its [sic] a complete waste of our money’, Andrew Holt website. 38. C Knaus, ‘Labor announces light rail to go to Woden’, The Canberra Times, (online edition), 2 September 2016. 39. A Coe, ‘Canberra Liberals again oppose spending on light rail’, Canberra Liberals website, 11 August 2015. 40. E Gilbert, ‘Canberra light rail: ACT Opposition formally warn consortia project would be cancelled under Liberal Government’, ABC News,

10 June 2015. 41. Westcott, op. cit.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 7

Campaign The campaign was dominated by the debates surrounding the costs and benefits of the light rail network. Other key themes included health, tax rates, education and government transparency.42

Public polling on the state of the parties and preferred leader was not conducted nor published by the media in the lead up to the election.

Only two MLAs announced their retirements at the 2016 election: Simon Corbell (ALP, Molonglo, 1997-2016) and, as noted above, Val Jeffrey (LIB). Corbell held a number of portfolios during his parliamentary career, retiring as the Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Health, Police and Emergency Services.43

The ACT Electoral Commission noted that the number of candidates was 141, an increase from 74 in 2012. Election analyst Antony Green stated:

A record 141 candidates will contest the 2016 ACT election, beating the previous records of 117 candidates at the first ACT election in 1989 under the Modified D'Hondt electoral system. The most candidates to contest a Hare-Clark election was 108 in 1998. 44

In addition to the Australian Greens, the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party, seven minor parties contested the election as well as a number of independents.45 The ACT Electoral Commission recorded 51 female candidates and 90 male candidates.46 The ALP and Liberal parties each had 14 male and 11 female candidates.47

42. C Knaus, ‘ACT election 2016: your guide to voting’, The Canberra Times, (online edition), 7 October 2016. 43. A Green, ‘ACT election 2016: retiring MLAs’, ABC News. 44. A Green, ‘Summary of Candidates and Parties Contesting 2016 ACT Election’, Antony Green’s Election Blog, ABC Elections, 22 September 2016. 45. Elections ACT, ‘141 candidates stand for election to the ACT Legislative Assembly’, ACT Electoral Commission, 22 September 2016. 46. Ibid. 47. A Green, 22 September 2016, op. cit.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 8

The results The election resulted in a win for Labor, with the ALP winning 12 seats, the Liberals 11 seats and the Greens two seats. 48

Summary • there were swings in the primary vote against all parliamentary parties:

- 0.5 per cent against the ALP

- 2.2 per cent against the Liberal Party and

- 0.5 per cent against the Greens. 49

• all minor parties recorded an increase in their primary vote, but this did not translate into gaining any seats in the Legislative Assembly. The Australian Sex Party received the largest increase (3.1 per cent), followed by Sustainable Australia (ACT) (1.6 per cent), Animal Justice Party (1.5 per cent), Like Canberra (1.1 per cent), Liberal Democrats (1 per cent), Canberra Community Voters (0.7 per cent) and the Community Alliance Party (0.2 per cent).50

• 12 of the 25 members of the expanded Assembly are new members. This includes seven new female members and five new male members.

• the ACT Electoral Commission continued to use a dual paper ballot and electronic voting system (in some polling booths), as has occurred since 2001. Electronic voting was featured in the five main town centres; voters were given the choice to use paper ballots in these booths. Traditional paper ballots were used in other polling booths.51

Women Of the 25 MLAs elected to the newly-expanded Legislative Assembly, 13 women were elected. This marks the first time in Australian Capital Territory — and Australian — history that women are in the majority in a Parliament.52 Women were elected from all three parliamentary parties:

- of the Labor Party’s 12 MLAs, seven are women

- of the Liberal Party’s 11 MLAs, five are women

- of the two Greens MLAs, one is a woman.

General election results by electorate Due to the Hare-Clark electoral system, votes are based on candidate and order elected. The table below notes in which order each candidate was elected. An asterisk (*) denotes whether the individual was elected for the first time in 2016.

One incumbent MLA, Chris Bourke (ALP, Ginninderra), was defeated. Fellow Labor candidate Gordon Ramsay won the fifth seat in the electorate. Mr Bourke was the first Indigenous ACT MLA.

Caroline Le Couteur (AG, Murrumbidgee) returns to the Legislative Assembly having served in the Assembly from 2008 until her defeat at the 2012 election.53

48. Elections ACT, ‘Summary of seats won - 2016 election’, ACT Electoral Commission, 9 November 2016. 49. Elections ACT, ‘2016 ACT Legislative Assembly election’, ACT Electoral Commission, 9 November 2016. 50. Ibid. 51. Elections ACT, ‘Electronic voting and counting’, ACT Electoral Commission, 27 September 2016. 52. I Cutmore, ‘ACT election: women to make up majority of Legislative Assembly’, ABC News, 24 October 2016. 53. ‘Caroline Le Couteur’, ACT Legislative Assembly, 16 November 2016.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 9

Table 1: Election results

Electorate Member Party Order elected Gender


Andrew Wall LIB 1 Male

Mick Gentleman ALP 2 Male

Joy Burch ALP 3 Female

Mark Parton LIB 4* Male

Nicole Lawder LIB 5 Female


Yvette Berry ALP 1 Female

Vicki Dunne LIB 2 Female

Elizabeth Kikkert LIB 3* Female

Tara Cheyne ALP 4* Female

Gordon Ramsay ALP 5* Male


Andrew Barr ALP 1 Male

Shane Rattenbury AG 2 Male

Elizabeth Lee LIB 3* Female

Steve Doszpot LIB 4 Male

Rachel Stephen-Smith ALP 5* Female


Jeremy Hanson LIB 1 Male

Bec Cody ALP 2* Female

Chris Steel ALP 3* Male

Giulia Jones LIB 4 Female

Caroline Le Couteur AG 5* Female


Meegan Fitzharris ALP 1 Female

Alistair Coe LIB 2 Male

Michael Pettersson ALP 3* Male

Suzanne Orr ALP 4* Female

James Milligan LIB 5* Male

Sources: Elections ACT, ‘List of elected candidates - 2016 Election’, ACT Electoral Commission, 9 November 2016, and A Green, ‘2016 ACT election - elected members by interim preference distribution’, A Green’s Election Blog, 18 October 2016.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 10

The outcome Forming Government As the ALP did not gain the 13 seats required to govern in its own right, the ALP and Greens signed a Parliamentary Agreement to form government, as they have done since 2008.54 The Agreement between ALP Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Greens Shane Rattenbury and Caroline Le Couteur was signed on 30 October 2016.55 The agreement stated that the ACT Greens will:

1. Support Mr Andrew Barr as Chief Minister of the ACT

2. Guarantee support for the passage of Appropriation Bills for the ordinary annual services of Government

3. Not move any motions of no confidence, or support any other party’s no-confidence motions, except in instances of proven corruption, gross negligence, or significant non-adherence to this agreement or the Ministerial Code of Conduct. 56

Further information on policy and project specific information held within the Agreement is available in the full text of the Parliamentary Agreement.57

On 25 October 2016 the Canberra Liberals met to vote on the party leadership. Alistair Coe was elected as leader of the Canberra Liberal Party, replacing former leader Jeremy Hanson. Nicole Lawder (Brindabella, 2013-) was elected to the position of Deputy Leader of the Opposition.58

The ninth Legislative Assembly On 31 October 2016 all 25 MLAs of the Legislative Assembly were sworn in.59 Following the swearing-in ceremony the Assembly elected Joy Burch (ALP) and Vicki Dunne (LIB, Ginninderra 2001) as Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively.60

The composition of the Legislative Assembly is summarised in Table 2, below.

Table 2: Legislative Assembly composition

Party MLAs Women

Australian Greens 2 1

Australian Labor Party 12 7

Total Government 14

Liberal Party of Australia 11 5

Total 25 13

Andrew Barr was re-elected leader of the ALP by his fellow ALP MLAs and subsequently Chief Minister, and Yvette Berry (ALP, Ginninderra, 2012-) was named Deputy Chief Minister.61 The Government announced a new seven-person ministry on the first sitting day of the ninth Legislative Assembly.62 The 32 portfolio ministry comprises five returning MLAs and two new MLAs (Gordon Ramsay (Ginninderra) and Rachel Stephen-Smith (Kurrajong)) and includes four men and three women. The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury retained a position in the

54. J McCann, Balancing act: the Australian Greens 2008-2011, Research paper, 7, 2011-12, Parliamentary Library, Canberra, 8 February 2012. 55. M Azize, Greens sign historic parliamentary agreement, media release, 30 October 2016. 56. Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch) and ACT Greens, Parliamentary Agreement for the 9th Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, October 2016.

57. Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch) and ACT Greens, Parliamentary Agreement for the 9th Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory, October 2016. 58. A Coe (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Statement from the Canberra Liberals’, Canberra Liberals website, 25 October 2016. 59. ‘Swearing in of members’, ACT Legislative Assembly, Debates, (proof), 31 October 2016, pp. 2-3. 60. ‘Election of Speaker’, ACT Legislative Assembly, Debates, (proof), 31 October 2016, p. 3. 61. ‘Election of Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition’, ACT Legislative Assembly, Debates, (proof), 31 October 2016, pp. 4-10; and ACT

Legislative Assembly, ‘Current members’. 62. ACT Legislative Assembly, ‘Current members’.

2016 Australian Capital Territory election: an overview 11

ministry, with four portfolios: Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability, Minister for Justice and Consumer Affairs, Minister for Corrections and Minister for Mental Health.63

On 2 November 2016 the Leader of the Opposition, Alistair Coe, announced the Liberals’ shadow ministry. All 11 Liberal Party MLAs gained multiple shadow portfolios in the ministry.64 The shadow ministry includes six men and five women.

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63. Ibid. 64. A Coe (Leader of the Opposition), ‘Opposition announces new shadow portfolios’, Canberra Liberals website, 2 November 2016.