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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 8 Hansard (25 June) . . Page.. 2182..


Workers Compensation (Acts of Terrorism) Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 6 June 2002, on motion by Mr Corbell:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

Debate (on motion by Mr Pratt ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Statute Law Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 6 June 2002, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STEFANIAK (10.55): Mr Speaker, this bill would amend various laws in the territory as part of the technical amendments program for laws in the territory. There are a number of schedules there. Schedule 1 provides for amendments to the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1991 and to the Health and Community Care Services Act. Schedule 2 provides for non-controversial structural amendments to the Legislation Act. Schedule 3 contains minor and technical amendments of legislation initiated by Parliamentary Counsel's Office. Schedule 4 provides for the repeal of redundant and obsolete acts and regulations.

I will make some comments when we come to Ms Tucker's amendment, but I think it is important with these consolidated acts to make a general comment in relation to acts which consolidate laws and which do technical amendments. It is important not to use these acts to introduce significant changes or any change that departs in a real way from what the current law is. It is all very well to amend or consolidate laws, make them more modern, make them flow better or assist in the provision of legislation to the public-as, indeed, the legislation amendment package does-but we need to be careful to not introduce major changes to existing laws through that package. I will speak more about that when we come to Ms Tucker's amendment.

The opposition have had a look through the bill. I understand the Attorney is bringing some amendments which were suggested by the scrutiny of bills committee and which, again, are minor, procedural, tidying-up matters. We have no problems with those. I had a bit of concern initially about some provisions of the evidence act, but I am quite satisfied now that the provisions are very minor. They relate to the videotaping of evidence and the Protection Orders Act 2001. The Domestic Violence Act is incorporated in that, and that has been used in relation to the video links through our court system on occasions in the past.

The other part of the bill-in relation to personal protection orders-has now, as a result of the Protection Orders Act, come in under that. I do not know how often that will be used, but I think it is very much in the same vein as what has occurred before. Despite some of the reservations expressed in the scrutiny of bills report, the opposition now has no problem with that.


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