Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 11 Hansard (4 November) . . Page.. 3583..
MR STEFANIAK (continuing):
Page 8, line 32, paragraph (h), omit the paragraph, substitute the following paragraph:
"(h) by omitting subsection (7).".
I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum in relation to those amendments. Mr Speaker, as a result of the matters raised by the Scrutiny of Bills Committee, on behalf of the Government, I propose these two amendments. They are both to clause 15 of the Bill. They cover the approval and publication of statutes. They have been developed in response to concerns of the Standing Committee on Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation. The Government agrees with the standing committee that under the present Bill it may be difficult to distinguish between a legislative statute and an administrative statute. To avoid this situation, the Government proposes that all statutes made by the university should be disallowable by the Assembly. Accordingly, I propose that subsections 42(3) and (4) of the University of Canberra Act 1989 covering statute notification and tabling be omitted and a new subsection 42(3) substituted. It makes all university statutes disallowable for the purposes of section 10 of the Subordinate Laws Act 1989. The notice provisions in the Subordinate Laws Act cover all university statutes. Subsection 42(7) of the University of Canberra Act is therefore unnecessary and should also be omitted.
I had some concern, as I think did my colleague Ms McRae, that by these amendments we might be imposing an unreasonable burden on the university. I note that there were some 34 statutes. I am advised that they have all, in fact, gone through a similar procedure in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Accordingly, whilst there is obviously some inconvenience, it is not an unreasonable matter for the Scrutiny of Bills Committee to raise. Accordingly, the Government has proposed, in accordance with the points raised by the Scrutiny of Bills Committee, these amendments, which I commend to the Assembly.
MS McRAE (5.46): We will be agreeing to these amendments. They came out of a recommendation of the Scrutiny of Bills Committee, as Mr Stefaniak has pointed out. They obviously did deserve attention. We did follow through to see what level of inconvenience they would cause and whether, in fact, they were necessary. The court is still out as to whether they are absolutely necessary. It was a question of which statutes that the board of the University of Canberra was actually putting through were legislative statutes and which were not. Since the Scrutiny of Bills Committee felt that this may cause questions of interpretation and disputes, it is probably easier to go with the amendment and allow all statutes to be tabled in the Assembly.
The Minister said that there were 34. I thought that there were 64 statutes. Anyway, I believe that an awful lot of these statutes are going to come past our noses and sit here as disallowable instruments. It may be something that we will seek to review in the future if they do end up creating a level of cumbersomeness and unnecessary bureaucratic and legislative processes and do not necessarily yield any productive results for the University of Canberra.