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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 12 Hansard (21 November) . . Page.. 3667..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

As I foreshadowed in my previous comments, this amendment clarifies that an attorney can exercise a power under an enduring power of attorney while the principal has impaired decision-making capacity, even though the exercise of the power would occur before the date specified in the power of attorney. This will ensure that as soon as a person's decision-making capacity becomes impaired their affairs can be attended to by their chosen attorney.

This is an important provision. Clearly, the person who becomes impaired in their decision-making capacity and who has made an enduring power of attorney has indicated that they want someone to exercise decisions on their behalf, but they may have specified a different date or a different set of circumstances leading to the triggering of the exercise of those powers. This amendment provides for the person appointed as the attorney to exercise those powers if the other person suffers some incapacity that results in their being of impaired decision-making capacity, even if it occurs outside the bounds specified in the enduring power of attorney.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.17): As I intimated earlier, having just seen the amendment, the amendment makes sense and we will agree to it. I take this opportunity to thank Mr Corbell for outlining the consultation the government had in 2002 and 2004. I would just reiterate something that came up last year when the Greens proposed that the government outline in its explanatory statement the consultation it has undertaken. That would have obviated the need for Mr Corbell to mention it now as it would have been all out in the open.

Whether or not it was to the government's taste, I did report in my speech only on what my staff was told. It does appear that there are differing perceptions about the quality of consultation. That is bound to be the case. My remarks were made in the interests of improving that.

I take the chance now to indicate that I will not be supporting the opposition's amendment because I believe that it is quite redundant, but I will be supporting the government's amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 32, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 33 to 86, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Proposed new clause 86A.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra—Leader of the Opposition) (11.19): I move the amendment circulated in my name [see schedule 2 at page 3724].

I alluded in the in-principle debate to this amendment and concerns we had about there being some vagueness still in the bill in relation to issues around medical treatment, specifically the issue of euthanasia, which , under the self-government act, is something that the Assembly has no power over. We thought it was necessary to ensure that that was clarified in what is an area of some vagueness in the bill. Accordingly, this


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