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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 4 Hansard (23 March) . . Page.. 1218..


MS BURCH (continuing):

On 8 December 2009, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts resolved to make no further inquiry into the report. The chair of the public accounts committee wrote to the Standing Committee on Health, Community and Social Services, bringing the report to their attention. The standing committee is undertaking an inquiry into all respite services in the ACT, and my department will be providing information in a submission to the standing committee.

I would like to thank the Auditor-General for her thorough inquiry into the respite services provided by the ACT government, enabling identification and continual improvements to services to vulnerable Canberrans.

Paper

Mr Stanhope presented the following paper:

Legislation Act, pursuant to section 64—

Animal Welfare Act—Animal Welfare Amendment Regulation 2010 (No 1)—Subordinate Law SL2010-9 (LR, 17 March 2010), together with its explanatory statement.

Animal Welfare Amendment Bill 2010

Debate resumed from 25 February 2010, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (11.14): Madam Deputy Speaker, the Canberra Liberals will be supporting this bill, but with one reservation, which I will address a little later. The Primary Industries Ministerial Council is developing national model codes of practice in animal welfare. It has also recommended that states and territories create nationally consistent animal welfare regulation. The words "nationally consistent"are important because they mean that no matter where people go in this country they will know that the code that applies in one jurisdiction applies equally in all others. But is that to be the case? I do not think it will after the briefings that my staff and I have received, and this is the caveat that we have in relation to this bill.

For now, let me focus on the bill per se. This bill prepares the territory for the new nationally consistent model codes. It provides that the minister may declare codes of practice to be mandatory. Mandatory codes will carry a strict liability penalty of up to 50 units for noncompliance. For reckless noncompliance, the maximum penalty is 100 penalty units. However, a private individual in breach of a mandatory code can be issued with a breach notice along with a reasonable period of time in which to comply with the code. If the offender complies and does not have a record of previous breaches, then the strict liability breach will not apply. This concession does not apply to a person who is conducting a business that involves animals. This quite reasonably assumes that a person whose business will rise or fall on how well it treats its animals will be well informed as to the code.


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