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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12823

Mr SPEAKER —I wish to make a statement to the House. Following a question asked at question time today, I think I should also advise the House that not only the Public Service Act but the Parliamentary Service Act came into being as of yesterday, Sunday, 5 December, and for the first time establish the parliamentary administration as a statutorily separate service of the Commonwealth. Members will recall that the parliament recently enacted both the Public Service Act 1999 and the Parliamentary Service Act 1999.

The Parliamentary Service Act establishes the Parliamentary Service and provides the legal framework for its leadership and management and the employment of its staff. The act provides for the office of Parliamentary Service Commissioner. Madam President and I have appointed the Public Service Commissioner, Ms Helen Williams, to that statutorily separate and legally independent role. We have also appointed Mr Alan Doolan, who has been appointed Public Service Merit Protection Commissioner until 31 December 1999, to act as Parliamentary Service Merit Protection Commissioner until the same date.

The establishment of the Parliamentary Service is a historic development for the parliament. It emphasises the parliament's unique roles and responsibilities for legislation and accountability and also ensures the security and integrity of the employment arrangements of the staff who serve the parliament.