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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4084..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Schedule 2 deals with structural amendments and contains amendments to the Legislation Act of 2001 that have been proposed by parliamentary counsel to ensure that the overall structure of the statute book is consistent and reflects best practice. Again, we have no problems there.

Schedule 3 just deals with typos and omits some redundant provisions, and schedules 4 and 5 repeal obsolete and unnecessary legislation proposed by government agencies and by parliamentary counsel.

As someone who studied law along with the Chief Minister in the early 1970s, and who grew up with some of these splendid old imperial acts, I feel it is rather a shame to see some of them go. I accept that the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act of 1890 is completely redundant now, as a result of the Admiralty Act of 1988, which the Commonwealth introduced.

The Colonial Laws Validity Act of 1865 is an oldie but a goody. It is a real shame to see that go. I would like to leave that on the statute book for posterity's sake, even though it probably does not mean anything anymore. I remember learning about that one as a student.

The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894, which would not be hugely applicable to the Australian Capital Territory at any rate, is for the chop, too. Then there is the Offences at Sea Act of 1536, from the reign of good old Henry VIII. I do not know which wife he was up to at that stage but, again, it is a bit of a shame to see it go. It is rather nice to keep a really historic act there but, again, it has no great applicability to the ACT.

Of course, the Chief Minister mentioned the piracy acts, which have very little applicability to the ACT. I do not think anyone has committed an act of piracy on Lake Burley Griffin, although I am pleased to say that the Assembly dragon boat team of 1991 did manage to sink a school team. We actually managed to come second in that race. We might have been acting like pirates, but we would not have breached that act. Again, it is fairly irrelevant.

It is a shame to see that the Piracy Punishment Act has already been amended. The death penalty has gone and imprisonment replaces it. Again, however, that act is for the chop as well. It is a more recent act, actually, the Piracy Punishment Act of 1902, but again it does not have much applicability to the ACT. While it is a bit of a shame to see some of those classic old acts go, I understand the need to upgrade our statute book and the opposition will be supporting this bill.

MS DUNDAS (12.06): The Australian Democrats will also be supporting this second Statute Law Amendment Bill. It is, thankfully, slightly smaller than the 400-page bill debated in June and August of this year. I understand that this is a non-controversial bill containing minor technical amendments to 37 acts, that also repeals some obsolete acts that are so archaic that they bring a comical nature to the bill. While it has occurred to me that the pedal boats on Lake Burley Griffin do sometimes get out of control, the thought of ever having to invoke the Piracy Punishment Act of 1902 had not yet occurred to me.


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