Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (18 November) . . Page.. 5636..
In the territory, the ACL will be jointly enforced by the ACT Office of Regulatory Services, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. The ACT Commissioner of Fair Trading's enforcement powers in part 3 of the Fair Trading (Consumer Affairs) Act 1973 will therefore be preserved for this purpose.
On 15 June this year, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the ACT Office of Regulatory Services, the ACCC and the ASIC. The MOU clarifies understanding between the agencies concerning communication and cooperation to ensure that the new ACL is effectively enforced and administered by these agencies.
Section 51D of the Fair Trading Act 1992 will be retained until consideration of inclusion of such a provision in the ACL has been finalised. This section provides a maximum annual percentage rate for a credit contract. The government has preserved this section so that ACT consumers will continue to benefit from protection from unfair and extreme interest rates.
The fair trading fitness industry code of practice and the retirement villages industry code of practice, created under part 3 of the Fair Trading Act 1992, are also preserved to provide ACT consumers with specific protections in these industries.
To enforce the rights included in the ACL, the national legislation provides a range of offences relating to unfair practices, consumer transactions, safety of consumer goods and products and related services. The bill adopts strict liability offences contained in the ACL. The government has ensured that any limitations on human rights flowing from these offences are proportionate and a necessary deterrents, given the regulatory nature of the ACL and its purpose in protecting consumers against unfair practices and unsafe goods.
As the current chair of the Ministerial Council on Consumer Affairs, I am particularly pleased to present this bill today, which will benefit the ACT community in its adoption of the nationally consistent consumer protections provided by the ACL. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Mrs Dunne) adjourned to the next sitting.
Legal Aid Amendment Bill 2010
Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, Minister for Energy and Minister for Police and Emergency Services) (10.20): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.