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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1993 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 1993) . . Page.. 2295 ..



MRS GRASSBY (5.04): I present reports Nos 12 and 13 of 1993 of the Standing Committee on Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation, and I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the reports.

Report No. 12 of 1993, which I have just presented, was circulated when the Assembly was not sitting, on 6 July 1993, pursuant to the resolution of appointment of 27 March 1992. Report No. 13 of 1993 contains the committee's comments on 64 pieces of subordinate legislation and one government response. May I say on this, Madam Speaker, that there were very many mistakes, and I am sure that members will note in the report some very humorous comments made by Professor Whalan. I would have thought that by this stage we would not be having the problems we are having with subordinate legislation. I will be taking this matter up with the Attorney-General. As these reports are being noted, I am sure that he will want to speak on it later. I understand that there are other members of the committee who would also like to speak on report No. 13.

As chairman of the committee, I am looking at having a seminar at some time in the future, so that we can explain to people in the area of drawing up subordinate legislation and Bills exactly what the committee would like fixed. Middle management in particular does not seem to be able to come to grips with some of the problems we are identifying. I commend the reports to the Assembly, Madam Speaker.

MS SZUTY (5.06): Madam Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of Assembly members to report No. 13 of the Scrutiny of Bills and Subordinate Legislation Committee. As Mrs Grassby has already said, recently there have been a quite significant number of mistakes with the various pieces of subordinate legislation and determinations, and I think it is important to raise the issue at this time. Members will appreciate that it is generally customary that the chair of the committee, Mrs Grassby, present reports to the Assembly and speak to them on occasions. However, it is unusual for either Mr Humphries or me, the remaining members of the committee, to raise particular issues. However, I believe on this occasion that additional comment is warranted. I wish specifically to refer to this report on our recent considerations.

The reports that we had prepared for us by Professor Whalan listed some 59 subordinate laws and determinations which were considered by the committee. In 29 instances, no comment was offered by the legal adviser, Professor Whalan, indicating that all was well; but in 30 instances comment was offered. We are talking here about over 50 per cent of occasions when subordinate laws and determinations came to our committee to review. I would like to give members some examples of the comments which were made. Regarding eight pieces of delegated legislation, the report comments that reference to the revoked determination as well as the relevant Gazette would have been helpful. In another instance it states that reference to the number of the revoked determination in the determination as well as the relevant Gazette would have been helpful, even if the explanatory statement does mention the relevant revoked determination. In another five instances there is comment that no references were made to either the revoked determination or the relevant Gazette.

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