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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 585..


MR CORBELL (continuing):

Finally, this bill amends the Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 1983, which contains a table of violent crimes for the purposes of the act. The previous table omitted two offences of a distinctly violent nature: culpable driving and sexual servitude offences under the Crimes Act 1900. These offences have a strong element of violence, and have been included in the list of violent crimes in the Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 1983. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stefaniak ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee

Report 2

Debate resumed from 6 December 2007, on motion by Mr Smyth:

That the report be adopted.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (11.03): The government will be supporting the motion that this report be adopted. The reason for that is that this report by the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure is the culmination of an extremely long process of inquiry and report to this place into the modernisation of the Assembly's standing orders and other resolutions.

It is worth while to reflect on the fact that the committee originally resolved to inquire into and report on a review of the standing orders of the Assembly on 7 June 2005. That was a considerable time ago; indeed, three and a bit years have elapsed since that time. It is probably one of the longest inquiries in the history of this place. It has been interrupted by at least one Assembly election during that time. It is appropriate that we now proceed to deal with these matters. I beg your pardon; it has not been interrupted by an Assembly election, but it has been a longstanding inquiry.

The changes outlined by the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure in some respects endorsed an approach which the government is very supportive of: the removal of archaic and confusing language and the replacement with common English alternatives or plain English alternatives. That is a welcome change. Other changes outlined include changes to the title "Temporary Deputy Speaker"and replacement with the term "Assistant Speaker". That will aid debate in this place and ensure that members refer to the relevant presiding officer by their appropriate title.

The report also makes changes to a wide range of other procedures and orders of the Assembly. I note the intention of the committee to change the name of the standing orders themselves—from "standing orders and other orders of the Assembly"to "standing orders and continuing resolutions of the Assembly"—I think that is the language proposed. That reflects practice which has grown in this place that there is a series of continuing resolutions that, regardless of the passage of elections, continue to be in place until the Assembly decides otherwise.

I note changes to procedure in relation to answers and the time limits on answers that ministers give during question time. In relation to the time for answers, I welcome the proposal that the stop clocks here in the Assembly are stopped when members take


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