Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 9 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 3394..
DR FOSKEY (continuing):
minister and his advisers arranged briefings for everybody. I do think it was the least they could do, but it went part of the way to ameliorating the issues that we all raised. It did not go all the way, of course, because the amendments could have been contentious and the briefings might not have been enough to reassure us. All those things are possible. However, in this case, it was okay.
I can only assume that there is an awful lot happening in the Attorney-General's office. Certainly, there is a lot of legislation coming out of there at the moment. People are perhaps snowed under, and in that case I feel extra efforts need to be made. So far we have all been working together to get the legislation passed, and no-one wants to be obstructionist. I guess that could change; we are getting closer to the election every day. But that is certainly the spirit of the Greens at this point. So far as I and my staff can see, these amendments do improve the legislation. As such, we are quite happy to accept them all and to allow them to be passed in full today.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (6.14): I thank members for their support. I certainly take on board the issues raised by members about timeliness, and I appreciate that it is a difficult set of circumstances when a fairly large number of amendments is presented at such short notice. However, I can assure members that there was no malignant intention in that regard. As members would appreciate, this series of bills is a very complex piece of drafting to capture all the different elements of jurisdiction and action available to a large number of tribunals and other bodies. In bringing that together, I think it is fair to say that officers in my department and the courts and tribunals themselves have still been working through every little detail until quite a late period in time.
The complexity of the task should not be underestimated. But, as I said yesterday, the changes are, in many respects, simply the transfer of powers from existing tribunals to the new consolidated Civil and Administrative Tribunal. I simply seek to reassure members that there has been no malignant intention on my part or, indeed, on the part of my department or office to not provide members with adequate periods of time to consider the amendments. It is simply a function of the very detailed nature of this particular piece of legislation.
That said, it has been incumbent on the government to listen to the comments made by the scrutiny of bills committee and, indeed, by the President of the AAT, Mr Peedom, in identifying some matters that need further amendment, and that is the intention of these amendments this evening. I thank members for their support. I thank them for taking advantage of the opportunity to be briefed in detail on the changes, and I commend the amendments to the Assembly.
Amendments agreed to.
Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.
Bill, as amended, agreed to.