Following three years of representations by the Evidence-Based Policy Research Project, the NSW Legislative Council in May adopted a sessional order requiring that all government bills include a Statement of Public Interest (SPI). The NSW Premier directed every government agency to observe the order.
This public policy framework for interrogating bills has now been given legal force - a first for Australia.
It’s a big breakthrough that other governments and parliaments should emulate. Only by insisting on meaningful answers to the basic steps in good policy making can parliaments genuinely hold governments to account on bills.