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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3083..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

environmental issues. You have the container deposit legislation; you have crayfish in Tasmania, from memory; and there are others. If we had got this exemption for phasing out battery hens and having labelling, this is about an important animal welfare issue which was agreed by the Productivity Commission as being worthy of the public interest consideration. So this isn't just about more strawberries in strawberry jam, Mr Moore; this is about a civil society taking a position on a horrendously cruel form of farming.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Services) (5.41): First of all, having looked at what you call a tremendously cruel form of farming, I suggest you go and have a look at some of the current farming systems of the modern type, not the sort that were there 50 years ago. However, people ought to have that choice. I agree with you, Ms Tucker. But this is the inappropriate place. We must not undermine this legislation. National agreements have a really important role to play. We have to deal with them carefully. I was the one who introduced the interstate agreements act into this place to make sure that the Assembly has the opportunity to check and to monitor these things as they are being developed. Indeed, you have made people aware of the development of these standards as they went on. We must not undermine them.

Amendment negatived.

Bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill agreed to.

Postponement of orders of the day

Ordered that orders of the day Nos 5 to 12, Executive business, be postponed until a later hour.

Agents Amendment Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 9 August 2001, on motion by Mr Stefaniak:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR HARGREAVES (5.43): The opposition will be supporting this bill. There are two aspects to this bill. The first deals with the restrictions on where agents can operate. In 1996 the Assembly passed amendments which allowed small businesses to operate from home in certain circumstances. However, under sections 48 and 49 of the Agents Act, agents have been prohibited from operating a business from home. This bill removes the anomaly and permits agents to operate a small business from home.

The second part of the bill deals with claims for compensation under the agents fidelity guarantee fund. Under the Agents Act, a person who suffers pecuniary loss by reason of a failure to account by a licensed agent may claim compensation with the agents board. A recent case involving a claim for compensation with the board highlighted uncertainty concerning the operation of the requirements for making a claim. In particular, the AAT held that provisions that had previously been considered to be mandatory were not mandatory. This bill removes the uncertainty and makes clear that the procedural requirements of the law are mandatory and must be complied with before a claim with


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