Adelaide Show Grounds (by-laws) Bill 1929
The MINISTER of LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Hon. G. E. Jenkins)—The Government have brought down this small Bill at the request of the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia. As will be seen by clause 3, the Bill enables the council of the society to make by-laws for a number of subjects which may be summarised as the protection of, and maintenance of order on, the Show Grounds at Wayville. While the Government take the view that in general it is not desirable to bring in public Bills enabling private societies or bodies to enact subordinate legislation, they have come to the conclusion, after due consideration, that special circumstances in the present case warrant a departure from the general rule. One circumstance is that the fee simple of the Show Grounds at Wayville belongs to the Crown, and consequently the Government have an interest in. protecting the property. Further, on the Show Grounds there are a number of booths, kiosks and other buildings which for considerable periods of the year are not occupied and are a constant temptation to ill-disposed persons. Thirdly, the extraordinary concourse of pedestrian and vehicular traffic on the Show Grounds at show time is such as to warrant special legislative powers to regulate it. The existing provisions contained in the Police Act and the Criminal Law Consolidation Act, which provide penalties for persons unlawfully on premises, do not enable the society to take proceedings with any certainty of success against trespassers unless the society can also prove actual larceny or malicious damage. In most cases evidence of this against a particular individual is not forthcoming. A further justification, for the Bill lies in the fact that the society has found it difficult to enforce compliance with its directions for regulating traffic during show time. The power to make by-laws given by the Bill is restricted by the usual safeguards. Every by-law must be submitted to the Governor for confirmation, and after confirmation by the Governor must be laid before both Houses of Parliament, where it will be subject to disallowance if Parliament thinks fit. I think members will agree that it is most necessary that this society, which has control of so much valuable property, should have the powers asked for in this Bill. I ask members to consider the matter in that light, and give the measure very careful and earnest consideration. I move the second reading.
The Hon. L. L. HILL—The Minister did not say whether he wanted the measure to go through this week.
The Minister of Local Government— It would be very helpful.
The Hon. L. L. HILL—From that point of view I do not propose to delay its passage, although I believe Parliament should hesitate before giving power to private institutions to make by-laws. This society is very highly respected, and has carried on splendid work for the State in conducting annual shows. The Bill certainly gives the society great powers, but there is a saving clause providing that the by-laws have to be submitted to the Governor in Council and then laid on the table of the House. I take it that if the society introduced any harsh by-law the Government and Parliament would repeal it. The society deals with very large crowds, and has valuable property, which should be adequately protected. I would like to know whether the society would be responsible for the administration of the by-laws, such as policing the show grounds, or will they be carried out by extra police at the expense of the society?
The Minister of Local Government— Any extra police will be paid for by the society.
The Hon. L. L. HILL—I thought that would be the position. I cannot see anything objectionable in the measure. The society conducts its shows admirably and Parliament should assist it in carrying on its work. In all communities you will find persons who are always eager to carry out vandalism and abuse. For instance, I believe that valuable birds have been poisoned by unscrupulous persons. The society should have full power to punish these people; therefore I support the second reading.
Mr. CROSBY—As a member of the council of this society I do not wish to delay the pas¬sage of the measure, but I think it is a mistake to pass a Bill in one afternoon without making inquiries. The Bill was not on my file yesterday. I notice that no by-laws can be passed by the council without 14 days notice being given to each individual member. If that is so, no by-laws could be passed before the Show; therefore I ask leave to continue my remarks.
Leave granted; adjourned debate made an Order of the Day for September 4.