Page 2200 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2022

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performance of statutory functions and minimising associated business disruptions. The delegation of these functions is consistent with other state and territory radiation laws, as well as other ACT laws that assign functions to the Chief Health Officer. I note that the standing committee had no comment on this amendment when it considered it in its report of 6 June.

I would like to thank the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety for their comments on the Radiation Protection Amendment Bill 2022 as part of Scrutiny report 15 of 27 April. The committee sought information regarding the Chief Health Officer determination about Radiation Safety Officer qualifications and how this legislation might incorporate a law or instrument of another jurisdiction.

A Chief Health Officer determination about Radiation Safety Officers would carefully consider how radiation safety principles can be supported and any other impacts from such a decision, including impacts for businesses. As a technical safety matter, I am satisfied that the Chief Health Officer, in consultation with the Radiation Advisory Committee, is best placed to determine if any minimum qualifications should apply to persons performing the functions of a Radiation Safety Officer by notifiable instrument.

Several provisions of the bill provide that a law or instrument of another jurisdiction may be adopted by the ACT. In the Radiation Protection Act, the adoption of laws or instruments is aimed at providing a nationally consistent regulatory framework for radiation protection to the greatest extent possible. An ongoing commitment to strive for national uniformity in radiation safety regulation was first established in 1999 by the former Australian Health Ministers’ Conference.

Any law adopted by the Radiation Protection Act is further taken to be an incorporated document for which the Director General may publish an incorporated document notice in the ACT Legislation Register. Incorporated document notices improve regulatory transparency by reducing the risk of ambiguity about requirements incorporated by the Radiation Protection Act. Section 118 of the Act further provides that copies of incorporated laws are available for inspection at no cost.

I thank the standing committee for these comments. I have submitted a revised explanatory statement to the bill in response to the matters raised by the standing committee. I note that the standing committee had no comment on this amendment to the Public Health Act, as I have said. Subject to the passage of the bill by the Assembly, the ACT Health Directorate will write to stakeholders to advise them of their obligations under the act and to outline the key changes that have been made.

ACT Health will also continue to consult and work with the radiation council regarding transitional arrangements for council members, as well as seeking their input and expertise on policy documents required to give effect to the provisions proposed by the bill. ACT Health will also update the content of its website to reflect the changes and ensure that the necessary implementation materials, such as forms and policy documents, are finalised prior to commencement of the changes proposed by the bill. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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