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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 7 Hansard (1 July) . . Page.. 3145..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

accordance with government policy. In line with this approach, some of the issues raised in the committee reports have already been addressed in the 2004 annual report directions.

The six standing committee reports made a total of 53 recommendations. In broad terms, the government supports 33 of these and notes a further 18. Only two recommendations are not agreed to. Both of the recommendations that are not agreed to relate to the report by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. Recommendation 7 of that report proposes that the government introduce regulations in a timely manner to enable the Legislative Assembly to scrutinise them before their implementation date.

While the need to introduce regulations in a timely manner is agreed to, it is neither practical nor appropriate to put in place a process for all regulations to be scrutinised by the Assembly before their commencement. This proposal would negate the fundamental reason for having regulations: that is to allow for flexibility in the administration of policies to meet the objectives set out in the legislation. Notwithstanding this position, the government will endeavour to better assist the Assembly in its scrutiny of subordinate legislation by identifying where there is likely to be a high degree of interest in the content of regulations and consulting with Assembly members.

The other recommendation that has not been agreed to relates to the committee's view that the Gambling and Racing Control Act 1999 should be amended to ensure the independence of the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission. This recommendation appears to stem from the committee's belief that the independence of the commission was brought into question because the chair of the commission was not present at the committee hearings. The government does not share the committee's view. Examination of the transcript does not support the committee's contention that on a number of occasions the chief executive deferred questions to the minister.

Overall, however, I am sure that the Assembly will agree that the government has responded in a way that entrenches and enhances our record of openness and accountability. I thank the standing committees for their effort in preparing their reports. I commend the government's response to the Assembly.

Administrative arrangements

Paper and statement by minister

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs): Mr Speaker, for the information of members I present the following paper:

Administrative Arrangements 2004 (No. 4)-Notifiable Instrument NI2004-191 (S4, dated 30 June 2004).

I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: On 22 June 2004 the Legislative Assembly passed the Emergencies Act 2004 to give effect to the establishment of a new Emergency Services Authority. The


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