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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 3 Hansard (8 March) . . Page.. 836..


MR SMYTH (continuing):

mechanism to provide for the opening, closing or transfer of ownership of a cemetery or crematorium.

Section 12 of the Coroners Act 1997 is repealed, and the substituted section is inserted as detailed in clause 43 of the bill. This amendment has the effect of widening the coroner's powers so that he or she has the power to issue a permit to cremate human remains in the following circumstances if appropriate: where a medical referee refuses to issue a certificate approving the cremation or where it is not possible to obtain a medical referee's certificate, for example, where exhumed remains are being cremated.

Mr Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly. It is an innovative approach to the regulation of cemeteries and crematoria in the ACT

Debate (on motion by Mr Hargreaves ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Jurisdiction of Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2001

Mr Stefaniak, pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education and Attorney-General) (11.10): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, the Jurisdiction of Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2001 contains amendments to four acts. Each of those acts is part of a national scheme of regulatory legislation which relies on the states, territories and the Commonwealth working together within a framework of corresponding laws. The acts being amended are the Competition Policy Reform Act 1996, the Gas Pipelines Access Act 1998, the Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-vesting) Act 1993 and the National Crime Authority (Territory Provisions) Act 1991.

The amendments have become necessary as a result of Commonwealth amendments to corresponding legislation. Last year the Commonwealth parliament passed the Jurisdiction of Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2000. That act contains changes necessary to deal with the effect of the High Court decision in Re Wakim ([1999] HCA 27), which made it clear that the system of cross-vesting of jurisdiction supporting a number of national legislative schemes is constitutionally invalid. Those changes made by the Commonwealth affect the operation of corresponding legislation in the states and territories, including the four ACT acts I have mentioned.

The ACT is in a different position to that of the states, as there is no constitutional difficulty with territory jurisdiction being vested in federal courts. However, because of the changes made by the Commonwealth act in order to allow the continued operation of national regulatory schemes, the ACT acts now need consequential amendments. This bill contains those changes that are necessary so that ACT national scheme legislation remains consistent with corresponding Commonwealth acts amended by the Jurisdiction of Courts Legislation Amendment Act 2000.


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