ABC Canberra Breakfast

01 December 2022


SUBJECTS: Territory Rights.

LISH FEJER, HOST: Alicia Payne, federal Member for Canberra. She introduced the bill into Parliament. Good morning, Alicia.

ALICIA PAYNE MP, MEMBER FOR CANBERRA: Good morning, Lish. Thanks for having me on.

FEJER: How did you feel last night with this finally going through?

PAYNE: Very relieved and thrilled really. And I'm just really proud that last night the parliament righted this wrong against the ACT and Northern Territory. And it's been a long time coming. There have been multiple attempts to get a similar bill through the parliament that haven't come off. And most recently in 2018, where it missed out by two votes. So we were always a bit nervous. But we were quietly confident, and it was incredible feeling when they called it. I was there in the Senate chamber, watching the debate and the vote and I'm really pleased.

FEJER: What was it like in the chamber last night? I know there were some amendments that were being discussed. Were you ever in doubt that it wouldn't pass?

PAYNE: I wasn't. Particularly because there was a vote on the second reading last week, which showed the numbers were 39-25. So that was a good indication. But then when these amendments came in at the last minute. We were always a little bit nervous. It was, it was quite nerve racking being in there and hearing each of the senators speak about the amendments. Because the amendments actually, if they had got up, would have rendered the bill pointless. It would have completely undermined what the bill was trying to do. And many senators spoke that way. So we were a little bit nervous, but quietly confident, and then when it finally got to the vote, it was a really great moment for the parliament.

FEJER: Now we're just hitting the seven o'clock news and on the other side of the news, Senator Katy Gallagher will join us. About that on the floor, of course, having pushed for this change for a very long time. Still lots of discussion to be had. It's going to be a conscience vote, I understand in the ACT Legislative Assembly. So all from here, do you think it'll be rushed through?

PAYNE: No, no, absolutely not. And Tara Cheyne and Chief Minister Andrew Barr have made it really clear this is going to be a really in-depth consultation process with people with the ACT beginning in February.

FEJER: Okay. We'll talk more about that. Thank you so much for joining me this morning.

PAYNE: Thank you Lish

FEJER: That's Alicia Payne, federal Member for Canberra.