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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 2 Hansard (18 February) . .

Page.. 598..


Question resolved in the affirmative.

Protection of Rights (Services) Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

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—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Capital Metro, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (11.36): Madam Deputy Speaker, I would like to congratulate you on your election to this office. I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to introduce the Protection of Rights (Services) Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. This bill supports the new framework for rights protection in the ACT, comprising a restructured Human Rights Commission and a Public Trustee and Guardian office under the Protection of Rights (Services) Legislation Amendment Bill 2015. The 2015 bill was passed by the Assembly on 9 February this year. This bill makes a range of consequential amendments to legislation across the statute book.

After the introduction of the 2015 bill the government continued to receive feedback from statutory office holders and staff. The 2016 bill also makes a number of minor amendments to the 2015 bill to refine and clarify the bill following further consultation with the commissioners and the Public Trustee. These changes will therefore facilitate the implementation and seamless commencement of the new rights protection framework at the beginning of April this year. They support the policy intent of the restructure.

Generally, the consequential changes only amend references to the names of new offices under the framework. There are instances where functions of the Public Advocate have been replicated in both the Human Rights Commission Act and the Public Trustee and Guardian Act as they support the work practices of both the advocacy and guardianship units, which have been split under the new model.

The additional changes contained in this bill reflect the operational concerns of commissioners and improve the day-to-day workability of the protection of rights bill by removing potential ambiguity in the wording of some governance provisions and shifting functions within the commission to more accurately reflect both current operational practice and the intent of the model agreed by the Assembly. These changes are in schedule 1 of the bill.

In relation to the Human Rights Commission, the bill makes a number of refinements to the function of the president. The commissioners asked for the process for development of the governance and corporate support protocol to involve consultation


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