Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (16 April) . . Page.. 952..
MR WOOD (continuing):
Both sides of this house acknowledge that the numbers of positions in the Public Service, ACT and Commonwealth, are reducing; but the clear trouble we have at this moment is a likely unprecedented attack by the new Federal Government. Contrary to the statement under the signature of John Howard that there would be only 2,500 over three years and that they would be by natural attrition, contrary to that misleading statement - would that describe this advertisement in the Canberra Times, Chief Minister? - there is now a clear indication by John Howard and his colleagues that Public Service cuts will be most significant. It is about time the Chief Minister showed some concern about that.
MR SPEAKER: The time for the discussion has now expired.
MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, I present Report No. 3 of 1996 of the Standing Committee on Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation. I seek leave to make a brief statement.
MS FOLLETT: Mr Speaker, Report No. 3 of 1996, which I have just presented, was circulated when the Assembly was not sitting, on 4 April 1996, pursuant to the resolution of appointment of 9 March 1995. I commend the report to the Assembly, but I would like to make a couple of very quick points in relation to it.
In relation to the subordinate legislation that the committee has looked at there is a comment on Instrument No. 16 of 1996, made under section 19 of the Credit Act 1995. The committee has pointed out that there appears to be an omission in relation to facsimile transmission. Section 122 of the Act does not have effect in relation to communications by post, telephone or telex. The committee asks whether it should also mention facsimile transmission.
There is another point that I would like to mention, Mr Speaker, because it has been a recurring irritant to the committee, I believe, and that relates to an inaccuracy in the Gazette that has been repeated on several occasions. It relates to the determination of fees and charges made under the Health Act and the revocation of previous determinations of fees and charges. Mr Speaker, the determination states that the previous determination "was published in Australian Capital Territory Gazette No. S241 on 21 September 1995". In fact, the determination was not published at all. There was merely a reference to the determination having been made. I think we need to try to be a little bit more accurate in what is made public by way of the Gazette.
In relation to that point again, the committee has pointed out that the Gazette also contains descriptions of regulations under the Children's Services Act 1986. The description of the instrument in the Gazette, as the committee has said, is extremely brief and totally uninformative. The committee believes that the regulations are very important. As the explanatory memorandum for that legislation indicated,