Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 3 Hansard (28 March) . . Page.. 666..
MR SPEAKER: Order, Dr Foskey! I do not mean to interrupt your fine speech, but this bill is about an act that validates certain fees. It is not about the desexing of dogs and how beneficial they are to relationships and so on. Could you stick to the subject matter of the bill.
DR FOSKEY: Is this an amendment to the Domestic Animals Act?
MR SPEAKER: Yes.
DR FOSKEY: I am sorry, I do not quite see how it does not have some relevance. I believe there is room in our Domestic Animals Act for more regulation of dog sales and breeding.
MR SPEAKER: The subject matter of the bill is to validate fees, a validation action. You ought to stick to the subject matter of the bill. I take your point that it is an amendment.
DR FOSKEY: I do not suppose anybody else ever does that here. I had more to say in relation to this. This is a very narrow bill. Pets are sold in other ways, including through pet shops. There is much less oversight, regulation and responsibility taken by government there.
MR SPEAKER: That has got nothing at all to do with this bill. The subject matter of the bill is-
DR FOSKEY: Anyway, I note that Domestic Animal Services are undertaking an extensive review of the entire Domestic Animals Act this coming June. I will take the opportunity then to bring up these points in the detail that I believe they deserve.
MR SPEAKER: That would be good.
MR STEFANIAK ( Ginninderra) (11.56): Normally we do not see bills which have a retrospective effect. If bills have a retrospective effect which unfairly hurts people in the community, then that is something that parliaments have traditionally been very, very concerned about and have rejected. In Australia, and in this particular little Assembly, we have always had a principle against retrospective acts.
There are, however, on the odd occasion, problems that arise, mistakes that perhaps have been made and technical issues that need rectifying. In this instance, as the two previous speakers have indicated, the pound does a wonderful job of selling animals and collecting fees for animals at the pound. People who purchase a dog from the pound or who pay animal registration fees-they have been doing so for years; they expect to pay the fees that are charged at the pound-have that expectation. This is something that has gone on for a number of years.
Even though there is this glitch, it would be quite wrong and incredibly complex if a bill like this were not to be brought into effect-if this bill were to be rejected-because it would mean that, technically, people that have paid, expected to pay and did not have any problems paying money in good faith since 21 June 2001, might be entitled to