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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (13 March) . . Page.. 1000..


MR STANHOPE

(continuing):

the law in a way that trespasses on the doctrine of the separation of powers. This concern is addressed by the retention and reinforcement of the principles mentioned that safeguard against inappropriate use of non-legislative material.

Third, the Bar Association was concerned that the best purpose rule, as originally proposed, might extinguish common law rules and presumptions regarding statutory interpretation-for example, the presumption against interference with the liberty of the citizen. It was never intended to extinguish the operation of the common law in this sense. To ensure that there is no suggestion that this will be a consequence of the reforms, previously proposed provisions for the Legislation Act principles to have effect despite any rule or presumption of common law to the contrary have been dropped from the bill. The result will be to enable common law rules and presumptions to continue to operate in conjunction with the principles stated in the Legislation Act.

This bill will bring the ACT into line with the common law of statutory interpretation as it has developed over the last 20 years. While these proposals are by no means radical, they will put us in the vanguard of change in this area. The bill offers a reliable model for any other Australian jurisdiction pursuing reform in their legislation regarding statutory interpretation.

Mr Speaker, I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Gaming Machine (Cap) Amendment Bill 2003

Mr Quinlan , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN

(Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism and Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming) (10.40): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Gaming Machine (Cap) Amendment Bill 2003 is a very simple piece of legislation that extends the current restrictions on the number of gaming machines that can be licensed in the territory. Currently, the Gaming Machine Act 1987 restricts the number of gaming machines in the territory to a maximum of 5,200. However, this restriction applies only until 30 June 2003.

The government is committed to ensuring that the extent of gambling is controlled within the territory. We are committed to encouraging harm minimisation measures in relation to all forms of gambling, particularly with gaming machines.

The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission has recently completed its comprehensive review of the Gaming Machine Act 1987. The review of the act is to ensure that the legislation meets community and regulatory needs. This review included extensive community consultation to ensure that the industry and the community had an opportunity to express their views.


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