A veto request to be ignoredThe Legislation Advisory Committee has advised Mary Harris, the Clerk of the House to veto Larry Baldock's petition question which aims to bind citizens initiated referenda, because it would contradict the fundamental purpose of the Citizens Initiated Referenda Act 1993, which provided for non-binding referendums.
On 29 October, Larry Baldock wrote to the Clerk [DOC] responding to an October 23 letter to the Clerk from legislation advisory committee chair Sir Geoffrey Palmer, in which he said:
The Committee’s view is that the wording of the proposed referendum is defective. Indeed that Committee does not think that these defects are capable of being remedied.... The question that is proposed, in all its ambiguities and circularity, is not in our view compatible with the legislation under which it is proposed to be conducted.The Herald noted that the Clerk of the House must approve or reject the final wording for the vote. Slight problem: She can't reject the wording, as a petition question - irredeemably defective or otherwise - cannot be vetoed unless the question either relates to a similar referendum held within the previous five years, or an electoral petition.
[T]he framers of the  Act considered the questions and decided that indicative referenda could not be and should not be binding. So the question is outside the scope of the Act.
But the question can be amended. So by December 9, Larry Baldock's question, Should Citizens Initiated Referenda seeking to repeal or amend a law be binding? or a form of it, preferably with " on Parliament" tagged on the end of the question, will be approved by the Clerk.
Baldock thinks the question can have its intent clarified through public debate and the petition process. But if he is not going to clarify his intent and how he wants Parliament to respond, before the first signature is sought, it is unlikely he will get the required signatures to force a referendum.
Binding referendums would bypass the legislative and select committee process.With binding referendums, we would have to vote on specific and detailed pieces of legislation, like they do in California to amend legislation, for example, such as aiming to bypass the legislature in attempts to abolish divorce laws.Yes, really. We could end up bypassing the legislative process to change the Marriage Act 1955 to allow for same sex marriage with enough public support.
Baldock would hate that.