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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4487..


MS TUCKER (9.27): I will speak to Mr Corbell's and Mrs Dunne's amendments. The discussion of this matter in the round-table meeting has resulted in the government's amendment, which is a huge improvement on what was in the bill. This amendment ensures that costs can only be awarded if a party actually contravenes the tribunal's direction by failing to provide information, and so on. It also ensures that, when the tribunal is deciding on whether to award costs, it must take into account whether and to what extent the contravention has affected its ability to hear the proceedings expeditiously. This requirement, in conjunction with the others, a and c, provides a relatively good safeguard against the tribunal unfairly awarding costs.

Mrs Dunne's amendment, in my view, is more problematic. I think the government's amendment provides a better system for determining the awarding of costs than is achieved through Mrs Dunne's. Mrs Dunne's amendment fails to provide sufficient safeguards to ensure that people do not have costs unfairly awarded against them, and fails to take into account community interests in relation to the affordability of bringing actions before the tribunal.

Mrs Dunne's amendment negatived.

Mr Stanhope's amendment agreed to.

Clause 15, as amended, agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Mrs Shirley Platt-retirement

Mr Keith Ryder-retirement

Ms Celeste Italiano

Valedictory

MR SPEAKER: I wish to make a few comments on the retirement of two long-serving secretariat staff. Mrs Shirley Platt, who has worked in the corporate services area of the secretariat since it was established upon the commencement of self-government in May 1989, has her last day with us tomorrow. Prior to the almost 14 years that she has had with us, Mrs Platt worked with the previous House of Assembly and the ACT Legislative Assembly when Mr Cornwell, Mr Kaine and Mr Hird were members of that body.

Mrs Platt's sterling support for members and professional service in all circumstances will always be remembered. It has been Mrs Platt who has ensured we have been paid over all of these years and it was she, for many of those years, who was responsible for negotiating with Treasury on the Assembly budget.

On behalf of all members, I thank Mrs Platt for her loyal and very valuable service to the Assembly.


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