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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 1 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 101..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

These are very minor clarifications of matters in the dictionary in the schedule to the bill.

Amendments agreed to.

Remainder of bill as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Regulatory Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2007

Debate resumed from 22 November 2007, on motion by Mr Barr:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (Ginninderra) (5.48): The bill makes some non-contentious amendments to eight of the more than 70 acts that are administered by the Office of Regulatory Services. It introduces some efficiency measures such as consistency initiatives, makes some improvements for traders and also closes some loopholes. One of the things it does is enable the Commissioner for Fair Trading to suspend or revoke an agent's licence or impose conditions if the agent is in contravention of the act whether or not the agent has been convicted of an offence for the contravention. An appeal to the Consumer and Trader Tribunal is still available to the agent. Currently, the agent actually has to be convicted and that can take some time, so I can see the merit in that because it does protect the public. It means some more immediate action, and there still is the protection of an appeal to the Consumer and Trader Tribunal. It still has to go through a body before it is ticked off, but that certainly does speed it up.

The bill does a number of other things as well, which I do not think there is any need for me to go through because that has been done quite capably by the attorney. I would perhaps just ask for some clarification in relation to the provision that the change of name of a person not born in the ACT must be linked with the birth registration. I understand this only applies to Australian birth registrations: just what is going to occur if the registration was in a country outside of Australia? Just what protections and what provisions are being made, if any, in relation to that, and are there any particular problems with it? I can see some potential difficulties, albeit of a minor nature.

One of the other major things the act does is in relation to police record checks. Apparently, according to the attorney, the office processes over 6,000 licence and registration applications a year, not including the certification of licences under workplace safety legislation and business name registrations. Most of the applications require the office to consider the criminal record of the applicant before issuing the licence for registration, and that is right and proper. Some of the acts governing licensing and registration require the applicant to provide their criminal record check, whereas the Security Industry Act, the Agents Act and the Sale of Motor Vehicles Act require the office to apply for a criminal record check on the applicant's behalf.


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