Just before Christmas in NSW 2010: elections, prorogation and public policy, I mentioned that the NSW Governor had prorogued Parliament at the Premier's request to head of a Legislative Council inquiry into the sale of State electricity assets.That post contained a link to material I had written on the earlier Canadian case.
The key issue in the case was whether the Legislative Council inquiry could continue despite the ending of the current parliament.
This week there have been two follow up stories in the Sydney Morning Herald. Keneally targeted for power contempt contains a link to a legal opinion obtained by the NSW opposition on the matter, while the next story, Premier faces 11th-hour inquiry, contains a link to the subsequent opinion by the NSW Solicitor General. In another piece, It didn't help Charles I and it won't save Keneally, Richard Ackland appears to take the view that the Council can still function until its final dissolution upon the issue of writs for an election.
I haven't yet absorbed the material. I mention it now because I know that some people are interested in the issue. It's quite important from a constitutional viewpoint and not just in NSW since this type of precedent feeds into the operations of other parliaments.
The NSW Government can't take a trick. Having decided to prorogue Parliament to avoid an inquiry, the Premier has indicated that that she and the Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal, would appear before it notwithstanding legal doubts about the validity of the inquiry. However, she has refused to recall Parliament to a new session.
The date of the state election has been set for 26 March.