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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 1102..


MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (9:37): I will be brief, Mr Speaker. Mr Osborne has moved for a further three months of consultation. We think that the proposal is ready for gazettal, but that is okay. Mr Corbell raised a few interesting points. For Mr Corbell's benefit, the definition of streetscape is already in the Territory Plan. It is in appendix 6. He should check before he jumps. In regard to section master plans, I was surprised to hear Mr Corbell, the planning expert, tell me that I was about to get more power; so, in anticipation, I raced out to my advisers-

Mr Corbell: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. The minister has to speak to Mr Osborne's amendment.

MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order.

MR SMYTH: All right, Mr Speaker. There are no extra powers. Mr Rugendyke asked for a better process on master planning. I am willing to negotiate that with him. The government will support Mr Osborne's amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Motion, as amended, agreed to.

Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill 2000 (No 4)

Debate resumed from 29 November 2000, on motion by Mr Berry:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Business, Tourism and the Arts and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (9.38): Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that infringement notices, otherwise known as on-the-spot fines, can be a very useful tool to help ensure our workplaces are safe from injury and disease. With this in mind, in 1998 I asked the Occupational Health and Safety Council to advise me on the possibility of introducing on-the-spot fines for breaches under the OH&S Act. The use of on-the-spot fines within an appropriate compliance framework can be very effective indeed. The implementation of such a scheme requires compliance supportive strategies that go hand in hand with enforcement strategies.

However, the Occupational Health and Safety Council advised that only penalty provisions that do not require the exercise of judgment by the person issuing the fine are suitable for on-the-spot fines. The Occupational Health and Safety Council also provided advice on what possible breaches of the act met this criterion. Unfortunately, none of the sections of the act, except one, were found to be suitable for on-the-spot fines, as they all require the exercise of judgment to issue a fine.

Schedule 1 of Mr Berry's bill is a list of sections for which he proposes to issue on-the-spot fines. It is substantially the same as the list the Occupational Health and Safety Council has previously been advised would be unsuitable for on-the-spot fines. I table a comparison between the advice provided by the OH&S Council and schedule 1 of Mr Berry's bill, the 1998 legal advice from the Department of Justice and Community


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