Page 2624 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 21 September 2022

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cremation information if family members nominate them to take on this role, rather than requiring this information to be provided directly to family members.

The requirement to provide a unique identification number at the application stage for burials and cremations will be made more flexible, as currently these numbers may not always be generated until later in the process. In addition to this, more flexibility will be provided in the scheduling of cremations by requiring only the scheduled day to be provided upon application, instead of the day and time, as timings can be variable for this service early in the booking stage. These amendments align with existing policies and procedures, with the intention to ease the administrative burden on family members in their time of mourning.

This bill also proposes to make the Chief Executive Officer of the ACT Cemeteries and Crematoria Authority a member of the ACT public service, in addition to maintaining their membership on the governing board. This will not change the current roles undertaken by the CEO and gives certainty for the effective management of staff in the day-to-day operations of Canberra’s public cemeteries and crematoria.

This bill also reflects advice from the ACT Veterinary Practitioners Board around how the Veterinary Practice Act 2018 can better support their business and business-as-usual work. Board membership criteria will allow for residents of the ACT as well as surrounding regions to participate, reflecting the key contributions that residents just over the border can make to providing best practice industry advice to government.

Similarly, the quorum requirements for the board have also been amended to allow meetings to proceed in circumstances where the president or deputy president cannot attend due to a conflict of interest or leave. These amendments will allow for greater engagement by the board and will ensure that their valued advice may continue on routine matters, even with some members away. Safeguards are also built into the amendment to maintain direction and consistency in these circumstances.

In the spirit of amending our veterinary practitioner legislation, it is also proposed to include long-awaited amendments to the regulation, following targeted industry consultation by the board in 2019. The existing list of restricted acts of veterinary science will be updated to reflect this consultation, where it was found that a number of veterinary procedures and treatments were only being conducted by vets in the community due to their high risk nature, meaning that the regulation should also reflect the sensitivity of these acts. These amendments reflect accepted current practice and are necessary to safeguard the wellbeing of animals subject to veterinary procedures.

A minor amendment to the Plastic Reduction Act 2021 is also proposed under this bill, specifically around the existing definition of “compostable”, which will be expanded to include compostable plastic products in general, rather than limiting it solely to compostable plastic bags. The way the legislation is designed means that expanding this definition does not expand the scope of potential items that can be prescribed by regulation under the single-use plastics ban. Instead, this minor amendment to the definition of compostable will support clarity in how the broader legislation is applied and referred to.

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