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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 3 Hansard (20 March) . .

Page.. 759..


as has been well noted by other speakers, this bill introduces provisions to support the participation of people with disabilities or language difficulties as jurors.

The bill also supports diversity and inclusion with changes to how oaths and affirmations are administered to better reflect the ACT's diverse population. These changes relate not only to the courts but to any occasion where a person takes an oath or an affirmation. As an example, the text of an oath for a witness in the Oaths and Affirmations Act 1984 is currently as follows:

I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Many Canberrans can happily take that oath. However, there are some Canberrans who may wish to take an oath but who are not comfortable with referring to "Almighty God". Therefore, the new oath text will allow a person to promise rather than swear and to refer to a god recognised by the person's religion. Where a person wishes to make an affirmation, they will be required to solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm.

In conclusion, the Courts and Other Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 is an important piece of legislation that supports the administration of justice in the ACT. The government is committed to working in partnership with our courts and our tribunal towards our shared goal of providing accessible justice for all. Again, I wish to thank all our justice stakeholders for their participation in the process of developing this important amendment bill, and 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.

Workplace Legislation Amendment Bill 2018

Debate resumed from 15 February 2018, on motion by Ms Stephen-Smith:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR WALL (Brindabella) (4.49): I rise to speak to the sections of the Workplace Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 that specifically relate to changes made to the Workforce Privacy Amendment Act 2016. I will defer to my colleague Miss C Burch, who will address on behalf of the opposition the aspects of this bill that relate to the public sector management amendments.

The first question that is in my mind when looking at this legislation is: why would we wind back legislation that has not yet been enacted? In 2016 we went through the process of having a bill developed by government, put through cabinet, brought into


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