Page 573 - Week 02 - Thursday, 24 March 2022

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IĀ also take this opportunity to thank, again, our community and sector partners for their participation in the consultation process and look forward working with the revitalised Domestic Violence Prevention Council. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mrs Kikkert) adjourned to the next sitting.

Radiation Protection Amendment Bill 2022

Ms Stephen-Smith, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajongā€”Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (11.23): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Today I rise today to present the Radiation Protection Amendment Bill 2022. The bill amends the Radiation Protection Act 2006 to improve the protections afforded to the health and safety of the ACT community and the environment from the harmful effects of radiation.

The use of radiation technology has truly revolutionised health care and greatly benefited society. It has delivered better outcomes for our community through advances in the use of radiation in medicine, helping to diagnose diseases and radically improving therapies for illnesses such as cancer. Radiation is also widely used in dental practices, veterinary medicine and across a variety of industries. However, while the benefits are clear, the mishandling or inappropriate use of radiation sources also presents public health risks. These risks require appropriate and contemporary management systems to mitigate and protect our community. In the ACT, the Radiation Protection Act and the Radiation Protection Regulation provide the framework to regulate activities involving radiation sources, such as the possession, use, transport, sale and disposal of radioactive materials and ionising radiation.

In 2018, the ACT government undertook a review of the operation of the Radiation Protection Act. The subsequent Review of the Radiation Protection Act report was tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly on 29 November 2018. The review report made 20 recommendations to improve radiation safety, achieve greater consistency with the National Directory for Radiation Protection and harmonise with other jurisdictions.

The national directory aims to provide nationally agreed and uniform requirements for the protection of people and the environment that meet international best practice and ensure the safety of radiation use. As Minister for Health, one of my core responsibilities is minimising public health risks to the community, and this includes those risks associated with the harmful effects of radioactive materials and ionising radiation.

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