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Marshall hits reset button on parliament, promising "bold" agenda

Politics

The State Government will prorogue parliament at the beginning of the new year, killing off all proposed legislation that didn’t make into law this year and promising a “bold”, renewed agenda for the start of 2020.

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As foreshadowed by InDaily in October, the Government will formally end the parliamentary session, setting the stage for a Governor’s speech outlining a renewed agenda for the Marshall Government and scrapping all current Bills that haven’t progressed beyond their second reading stage.

However, it’s also flagging the reintroduction of key election pledges that have previously fallen foul of Legislative Council roadblocks, likely including fresh attempts at shop trading deregulation and council rate capping.

Bills that failed to get through the parliamentary process in the current term include the Government’s legislation to allow for public ICAC hearings and the push to end the moratorium on genetically modified crops in South Australia.

However, failing to lift the ban by legislation, Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone today gazetted regulations that have the same effect – meaning GM crops will be allowed in South Australia, at least until parliament returns in February next year.

READ MORE: GM ban binned again as Government raises stakes

Proroguing parliament also gives the Marshall Government a chance to re-set its legislative agenda for the lead-up to the 2022 election after a challenging 12 months which has seen party-room dissent on land tax and backbenchers cross the floor on mining reform – a Bill that continues to cause deep divisions in Liberal ranks.

Leader of Government Business in the House, John Gardner, confirmed the move in a statement to InDaily this morning.

“This Government has a strong policy agenda to deliver on, and the proroguing process will provide a clean slate for us to introduce a bold legislative agenda to the parliament next year,” he said.

“It will also provide the parliament with an opportunity to take a second look at a number of legislative measures that the parliament has previously rejected, despite overwhelming community support for these areas of reform.”

Parliament was last prorogued mid-session in 2014, when then-Premier Jay Weatherill used the process – including Governor Hiue Van Le’s speech to parliament – to launch what he also famously described as a “bold” legislative agenda.

Van Le’s speech included the then-Government’s plans to allow driverless vehicles on South Australian roads and make Adelaide a carbon-neutral city.

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