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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 2 Hansard (16 February) . .

Page.. 375..

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

MADAM SPEAKER (Mrs Dunne) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee

Scrutiny report 41

MR DOSZPOT (Molonglo): I present the following report:

Justice and Community Safety—Standing Committee (Legislative Scrutiny Role)—Scrutiny Report 41, dated 15 February 2016, together with the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I seek leave to make a brief statement.

Leave granted.

MR DOSZPOT: Scrutiny report 41 contains the committee's comments on one bill, 48 pieces of subordinate legislation, one government response and one regulatory impact statement.

The committee would like to record its concern about the quality of the drafting of the subordinate legislation and explanatory statements dealt with in this scrutiny report. While the subordinate legislation is relatively modest in number, the committee has identified numerous issues with the subordinate legislation—some of them recurring, some of them quite serious.

In particular, the committee notes its comments in the scrutiny report about subordinate law SL2015-41, being the Health Amendment Regulation 2015 made under the Health Act 1993. This subordinate law makes three amendments to the Health Regulation 2004. The first, set out in section 5 of the subordinate law, amends subsection 5(2) of the Health Regulation by replacing the previous requirement that the minister determine criteria applicable to a decision by the relevant director-general to approve a position as a nurse practitioner position, under section 8 of the Health Regulation, by disallowable instrument, with a requirement that the minister do so by a notifiable instrument. This means that the relevant criteria go from being disallowable by the Legislative Assembly, and subject to scrutiny by the committee, to merely having to be notified on the ACT legislation register. The explanatory statement for the subordinate law offers no explanation as to why an instrument that was previously considered to require scrutiny by the Legislative Assembly, and be subject to disallowance, should now be removed from that scrutiny.

Given the importance of the supervisory role of the Legislative Assembly and the committee in relation to such instruments, the committee considers that an explanation ought to be provided for the diminution of the role of the Legislative Assembly and the committee in this instance.

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