Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 2 August 2022) . . Page.. 2199 ..
This bill also gives the power to establish and maintain a public register of licences and radiation sources that exist in the ACT. If the Chief Health Officer believes that a licence or radiation source is in the public interest then it will be published on the register, to ensure further transparency. This bill also enables the minister, in extreme cases, to temporarily exempt people from the ACT, following a radiation incident and consultation with the Radiation Council.
This act strives to bring our legislation into line with the national practice, where the expert council advises the Chief Health Officer. In addition, it adopts a risk averse approach to radiation in the ACT and received broad support in 2018 and 2021 from stakeholders. The amendments provide appropriate checks and balances to ensure that community safety is enhanced. The Canberra Liberals will be supporting this legislation.
(Brindabella) (4.54): I would like to thank the minister and the health directorate for their work in preparing the Radiation Protection Amendment Bill 2022. The ACT Greens will be supporting this bill and the associated amendments circulated by the minister in May. Radioactive materials are essential in our healthcare system, yet, if not managed properly, can pose serious risk to those who handle them and the broader community. This bill implements the recommendations of the review of the Radiation Protection Act report, which made 20 recommendations to improve radiation safety and consistency across jurisdictions in the management of radioactive materials.
A core responsibility of government is to ensure that the community and our workers are kept safe. The amendments to this act seek to do just that by updating our legislative framework to strengthen regulations around the use of radiation sources, including licensing and registration, and to bring us into line with other jurisdictions. This amendment clarifies responsibilities, making the management of radioactive materials and the consequences for failing to do so more transparent to delegates and to the broader community.
I would like to thank the stakeholders who participated in the development of these amendments for their work in advising government on the impacts of this legislation on the operation. The ACT Greens are pleased to support this work and the consequent bill.
(Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (4.56), in reply: I forecast that I will move two amendments to this bill during the detail stage.
The first is a minor and technical amendment that will provide the bill commence one month from its date of notification, whereas initially it was two months. This is a result of the slight delay in the passage of the bill.
The second amendment will be to the Public Health Act 1997, enabling the Chief Health Officer to delegate functions under the Radiation Protection Act. The delegation of Chief Health Officer functions is critical to ensuring the ongoing