Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 4 Hansard (29 March) . . Page.. 1504..
Statute law amendment bills serve the important purpose of improving the overall quality of the ACT statute book so that our laws are kept up-to-date and are easier to find, read and understand. A well-maintained statute book greatly enhances access to ACT legislation and is a very practical measure to give effect to the principle that members of the community have a right to know the laws that affect them.
Statute law amendment bills also provide an important and useful mode for continually modernising the statute book. For example, laws need to be kept up-to-date to reflect ongoing technological and societal change. Also, as the ACT statute book has been created from various jurisdictional sources over a long period, it reflects the various drafting practices, language usage, printing formats and styles throughout the years. It is important to maintain a minimum, consistent standard in presentation and cohesion between legislation coming from different sources at different times so that better access to, and understanding of, the law is achieved.
This statute law amendment bill deals with three kinds of matters. Schedule 1 provides for minor, non-controversial amendments proposed by a government agency that require approval from the Chief Minister.
Schedule 2 contains amendments of the Legislation Act 2001 proposed by the parliamentary counsel to ensure that the overall structure of the statute book is cohesive and consistent and is developed to reflect best practice.
Schedule 3 contains technical amendments proposed by the parliamentary counsel to correct minor typographical or clerical errors, improve language, omit redundant provisions, include explanatory notes or otherwise update or improve the form of legislation.
Statute law amendments bills may include a fourth schedule that repeals redundant legislation. No fourth schedule is included in this bill.
The bill contains a large number of minor amendments with detailed explanatory notes, so it is not useful for me to go through them all now. However, I will take the opportunity to briefly mention several matters.
Schedule 1 of the bill amends the Cultural Facilities Corporation Act 1997, section 6, to remove the function of the Cultural Facilities Corporation to manage and develop Civic Square precinct as a cultural focus of the ACT. As members may recall, this amendment is the government's response to a recommendation of the Loxton report of a review of the arts in the ACT. The responsibility for the Civic Square precinct will be transferred to the ACT Property Group in the Territory and Municipal Services Directorate.
Schedule 1 also amends the Training and Tertiary Education Act 2003, section 108, to change the designated authority for the purposes of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 of the commonwealth from the Accreditation and Registration Council—or the ARC—chairperson to the Minister for Education and