Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 9 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 3759..
MRS DUNNE: Scrutiny report 26 contains the committee's comments on 76 pieces of subordinate legislation and six government responses. The report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting. In discussing outstanding government responses to scrutiny committee reports, the committee has expressed its expectations that government responses to matters raised in subordinate legislation be addressed before the disallowable period for that legislation has expired. I commend the report to the Assembly.
I want to draw members' attention to pages 7 and 8 of scrutiny report 25. The committee draws attention again to the matter that it first raised in September 2006 in report 32 of the last Assembly. That matter is that a power conferred on an administrative decision maker which involves the making of a decision concerning rights or obligations—and many such powers do—will be incompatible with section 21(1) of the Human Rights Act if the composite process surrounding the making and review of that decision is not judged to be "fair". This is a value-laden judgement, but it cannot be avoided if the Human Rights Act is taken seriously.
There has not yet been an acknowledgement of this matter in any government response to a committee report. This stands in strong contrast to how the government of Victoria responds to the application of the equivalent section of the Victorian charter. In report 25, the committee outlined the general nature of the Victorian approach.
There is a more general point here. In Victoria, the second reading speech on a bill contains an often quite lengthy compatibility statement. This statement takes up every provision of the bill in respect of which an issue of compatibility with the Victorian charter of rights can be raised, and then, by specific reference to the matters such as are found in section 28(2) of our Human Rights Act, provides a justification for saying that the provision of the bill is compatible—or, in rare cases, is not.
This practice, the committee considers, is best practice, and the committee urges the government to adopt it. The ACT is the first Australian jurisdiction to adopt a Human Rights Act. While there was a need for a settling-in period in which the government could set up structures for its implementation, it is the case that in this crucial respect of providing an adequate compatibility statement, territory practice has not come up to the mark.
Security Industry Amendment Bill 2010
Debate resumed from 24 June 2010, on motion by Mr Corbell:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (10.25): I stand today in support of the Security Industry Amendment Bill. This is, in essence, the second time we have seen this issue discussed in this place, the last being when the central provisions of this bill were included in an omnibus JACS bill presented to the Assembly last year. As this is quite a major policy change for the security industry, we welcome the decision by the government to properly introduce this bill as a separate piece of executive business for debate.