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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 4 Hansard (4 May) . . Page.. 1173..


Thursday, 4 May 2006

The Assembly met at 10.30 am.

(Quorum formed.)

MR SPEAKER (Mr Berry) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2006

Mr Corbell , pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Planning) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill makes statute law revision amendments to ACT legislation under guidelines for the technical amendments program approved by the government. The bill makes amendments that are minor or technical and non-controversial. They are generally insufficiently important to justify the presentation of separate legislation in each case and may be inappropriate to make as editorial amendments in the process of republishing legislation under the Legislation Act 2001.

However, the bill serves the important purpose of improving the overall quality of the ACT statute book so that our laws are kept up to date and are easier to find, read and understand. A well-maintained statute book significantly enhances access to ACT legislation and it is a very practical measure to give effect to the principle that members of the community have a right to know the laws that affect them.

The enhancement of the ACT statute book through the technical amendments program is also a process of modernisation. For example, laws need to be kept up to date to reflect ongoing technological and societal change. Also, as the ACT statute book has been created from various jurisdictional sources over a long period, it reflects the various drafting practices, language usage, printing formats and styles throughout the years. It is important to maintain a minimum level of consistency in presentation and cohesion between legislation coming from different sources at different times so that better access to, and understanding of, the law is achieved.

This Statute Law Amendment Bill deals with three kinds of matters. Schedule 1 provides for a minor, non-controversial amendment proposed by a government agency. Schedule 2 contains amendments to the Legislation Act 2001 and the Legislation Regulation 2003 proposed by the parliamentary counsel to ensure that the overall structure of the statute book is cohesive and consistent and is developed to reflect best practice.


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