Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 12 Hansard (30 October) . .
In 2005 the ACT passed legislation closely incorporating the commonwealth law. The water efficiency labelling standards scheme is administered by the commonwealth, which is responsible for determining the efficiency of a product such as a washing machine, registering and deregistering products, monitoring compliance and/or investigation of alleged breaches. However, since 2005 the commonwealth has made a number of reforms and amendments to its act, including a number of legislative determinations and regulations. This has resulted in inconsistencies between the commonwealth law and that of the ACT. The same situation has occurred with the states and the Northern Territory.
Rather than draft a set of extensive amendments to the existing ACT statute, it has become apparent that the simple and more effective approach is to create a new bill for the ACT. This new bill incorporates the latest commonwealth legislation and adopts the commonwealth water efficiency laws as a law of the territory. Adopting the commonwealth legislation as an act of the territory will overcome the need for the ACT to enact further commonwealth amendments and regulations that may need to be made from time to time. This approach is being adopted by other jurisdictions across Australia, with a number of states and the Northern Territory having already enacted similar legislation.
The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (ACT) Bill 2014 is a necessary and non-controversial but routine reform to the ACT's current water efficiency and labelling standards legislation. If this bill is passed, the existing ACT water efficiency legislation will be revoked. The ACT will continue to be involved in the administration and review of the effectiveness of the WELS scheme, as it is known.
There are no human rights issues with regard to the bill. The ACT bill will differ from the current commonwealth legislation in one respect—the criminal penalty imposed for three offences. The ACT bill will retain a monetary penalty of 60 penalty units instead of the six months imprisonment that applies in the commonwealth law if it is found that a person fails to provide information to a water efficiency labelling scheme—WELS—inspector or fails to answer a question to a WELS inspector. The territory has taken the decision to vary our law in this respect because it believes that a monetary penalty is sufficient deterrent to provide for compliance. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Ms Lawder) adjourned to the next sitting.
Gaming Machine (Red Tape Reduction) Amendment Bill 2014
Ms Burch, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.
Title read by Clerk.
MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Disability, Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Minister for Racing and Gaming, Minister for Women and Minister for the Arts) (11.04): I move:
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