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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 4156..


(7) Spa installations must satisfy any three star (triple A) plumbing requirements for water efficiency. If part of a new building the spa installation must form part of meeting a 40% reduction in potable water use compared with 2003 water usage levels under the Waterways: Water Sensitive Urban Design General Code July 2007 that will come into effect with the new Territory Plan in March 2008.

(8) Spas are still considered to be an acceptable residential and hospitality amenity, but new installations/buildings will need to be considered in the context of the 40% reduction of potable water use as detailed above.

Human rights—compatibility statements

(Question No 1765)

Dr Foskey asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 15 November 2007:

(1) In relation to Human Rights Act compatibility statements, why isn't the full, or even partial, reasoning which concludes that legislation is human rights compatible included with the statement, or on the Human Rights Commission website;

(2) Would implementing this practice help raise awareness of human rights issues amongst the public and also amongst public servants.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) At the very outset, the government envisaged that the compatibility statement would institutionalise human rights considerations at the beginning of the policy development process. The approach has been to conduct compatibility assessment through consultation between the Human Rights Unit in the Department of Justice and Community Safety and the agency responsible for the relevant bill. It is Government policy that human rights issues must be addressed in the first instance in the Explanatory Statement to the Bill, prepared with the assistance of the Human Rights Unit, similar to the approach adopted in the UK. This approach is complemented by the Unit assisting agencies to prepare Government Responses to Scrutiny Reports by the Standing Committee on Legal Affairs where it raises human rights issues. So, while the compatibility statement is evidence of the dialogue, it is not its only source.

(2) The approach of the Human Rights Unit is to define the questions for agencies to ask themselves, send them away to explore those questions, and return to participate in a conversation, rather than receive the definitive answer to their human rights issue. Each interaction is a tutorial on the particular human right engaged, rather than a conference with a client at which advice is provided. This reflects the Government's focus on building a human rights culture within the public sector. Additionally, for key bills, agencies are encouraged to make the case for compatibility to the wider community through exposure drafts or other means of public consultation.

Public service—Ombudsman's recommendations

(Question No 1766)

Dr Foskey asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 15 November 2007:


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