Page 1015 - Week 03 - Thursday, 30 March 2023

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The amendments improve the operation of this legislation by providing that the registrar-general must accept any identity document in relation to land titles transactions which has been verified according to the rules. The rules reflect the commonwealth’s National Identity Proofing Guidelines and are considered best practice.

While these provisions may limit the right to privacy in section 12 of the Human Rights Act, I consider the limitation to be reasonable and proportionate, as the amendments reduce the number of times that a person’s identity needs to be verified, and therefore reduces the impact on the right to privacy.

Establishing confidence in a person’s identity is critical to delivering a range of government services. These amendments help to support the effective operation of certain land transactions in the territory.

This bill amends the Agents Act and Agents (Transitional Provisions) Regulation by moving two measures in the transitional provisions regulation and one subsection in the Agents Act to part 22 of the Agents Act to ensure that all transitional measures are in one place, for ease of reference. The amendments streamline the legislation and mean that property agents and assistant agents who transition to the new licensing framework can easily identify the laws that apply to the exercise and functions under their relevant licence or registration.

This bill also amends the Liquor Act to make a minor administrative amendment, which provides that the member of the Liquor Advisory Board representing the Australian Federal Police is an ex-officio appointment to the board on an ongoing basis. This streamlining amendment means that the member does not need to be appointed by the minister each term and should provide a small efficiency by reducing the administrative burden currently associated with appointing an AFP member to the board.

Finally, this bill amends the Justices of the Peace Act to recognise the important role that JPs play in the ACT community by allowing a justice of the peace who has volunteered for 10 or more years to apply to the Commissioner for Fair Trading for authorisation to use the title “JP (Retired)”. By authorising this title, we grant JPs who are ending their service the appropriate and enduring recognition of the time they have generously dedicated to our community.

While retired JPs will not be able to exercise the function of a JP under the act, if they are authorised to use the “JP (Retired)” title, they must continue to be of good character. This requirement will support the continued integrity of the JP office. This amendment ensures that retiring JPs are acknowledged for the valuable role they play in the ACT community and brings the ACT in line with New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria, which have also introduced the retirement title for justices of the peace.

I am pleased to say that the bill being debated today is a human rights compliant bill, and one which improves the operation and effective administration of the laws in the territory. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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