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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 2 Hansard (17 February) . .

Page.. 381..

As members have commented, the bill also makes a number of minor or technical amendments to ensure consistency across laws and allow for the effective operation of the criminal law. These amendments address issues that have been raised by other justice stakeholders, including clarifying the firearms licensing regime and preventing children younger than 12 using a firearm at a shooting range.

The bill provides extra protection and support to members of the community in particular need, and it provides protection for the privacy of the community as a whole. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (ACT) Bill 2014

Debate resumed from 30 October 2014, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.56): The Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (ACT) Bill 2014 repeals and replaces the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards Act 2005—the ACT WELS Act—and adopts a uniform national approach to the regulation of water efficiency labelling and standards. This bill is being introduced to bring the ACT into line with the federal water quality legislation. A number of the states and the Northern Territory have already enacted very similar legislation, and we will be supporting this bill today.

The commonwealth WELS Act commenced in 2005. The WELS scheme was intended to increase water conservation and to provide market incentives for manufacturers to improve the water efficiency of products. The original ACT WELS Act was mirror legislation. However, subsequent reforms and amendments to the commonwealth act have resulted in inconsistencies between the two.

The WELS (ACT) Bill 2014 adopts the commonwealth WELS Act 2005 as an act of the ACT. Future amendment to the commonwealth WELS Act 2005 will automatically apply in the ACT unless the ACT takes action to prevent such amendments applying. One exception to the full adoption of the commonwealth act by this Assembly relates to the substitution of penalty units in the ACT act for six months imprisonment in the commonwealth act. This applies to section 61, failure to give WELS information to a WELS inspector, and section 62, failure to appear before a WELS inspector and failure to answer questions or provide material.

The opposition supports this national harmonisation of legislation where it is in the best interests of Canberrans, and for this reason we will be supporting this bill today.

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