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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 12 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 4063..


MRS CARNELL (continuing):

health care providers already share relevant information with consumers and operate within a careful confidential framework. This legislation is intended to assist all health service providers and health consumer relationships to be characterised by openness and confidentiality.

In the consultations on the Government's position paper a number of other issues were brought to our attention which are not dealt with in this legislation. These include the standard of health care records; the retention and disposal of health records; and the availability of health status reports prepared about a person's health or disability on both sides in litigation. These are all important issues, but they require separate consultation and policy development. I was not willing to delay implementation of the key provisions of this important legislation until these other issues were finalised; but, certainly, Mr Speaker, they are issues that will need to be addressed in the next Assembly. Provision is made in the legislation for regulation-making powers in relation to the first two issues, while the third may require later legislative amendment. This could occur when the operation of the legislation is evaluated to determine whether it is achieving the objectives in an effective and efficient manner.

Mr Speaker, an enormous amount of work has gone into this legislation. I would like to thank all of those people who were involved. They predominantly come from the non-government sector and, of course, the Health Complaints Commissioner and his associates as well. Mr Speaker, I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Berry) adjourned.

DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

MR SPEAKER: I would like to inform members of the presence in the gallery of members of the delegation from the Nara City Assembly headed by Mr Yoshiaki Kitao. Welcome.

CRIMES (AMENDMENT) BILL (NO. 6) 1997

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General) (10.54): I present the Crimes (Amendment) Bill (No. 6) 1997, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I move:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

The Crimes (Amendment) Bill (No. 6) 1997 addresses the widespread public concern which followed a recent decision of the ACT Magistrates Court to acquit a defendant of assault on the ground that the defendant was too intoxicated to form an intent to commit the offence. It must be stressed, Mr Speaker, that in introducing this legislation the Government makes no comment upon the application of the law by the Magistrates Court


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