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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (1 April) . . Page.. 1116..


MR HARGREAVES (continuing):

Leave granted.

MR HARGREAVES: I have sat on the Scrutiny of Bills Committee, as part of the Legal Affairs Committee-formerly called the Justice and Community Safety Committee-for five years and I am delighted to say that, for the first time, uniquely this report is predominantly one of congratulations to the government of the day for being wonderfully responsive to the positive and constructive suggestions that this committee has put forward.

Using the illuminating powers of its mind and the advice of its wonderful legal adviser, the committee has put forward suggestions for alteration to or further explanation of legislation, and it has drawn a number of matters to the attention of the government. This report shows the positive results of those representations. If you look at the tone of the government responses, you will find a willingness on the part of this government to take on board positive and constructive advice. I thought it was noteworthy, Mr Speaker, to bring this to the attention of the Assembly because it is such a great idea.

However, every bit of good news has to be tempered somewhat. In the last Assembly I raised a number of times the issue of the government of the day's failure to comply with the Administration (Interstate Agreements) Act, which, with certain exceptions, obliges the executive to advise each member of the contemplative stage of interstate agreements. There is also an obligation to notify the relevant standing committee and the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. I have to say that in recent times this government has complied with that requirement.

I wish to raise this matter again for the benefit of those officers who are listening in, riveted to these proceedings-and I wish them a very happy April Fool's Day, and this is no joke. I will be watching very seriously, as will the committee, the compliance with the Administration (Interstate Agreements) Act. Officials ought to be aware that they should support the executive and that they should be providing copies of the relevant information to the relevant standing committee. If they are in any doubt, they should be aware that this is authorised by the Speaker in the first couple of sittings.

We see that potential agreements are being sent around to each member's office, so that is fine. But they have to be considered by the relevant standing committees and by the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. The Scrutiny of Bills Committee takes this matter very seriously and I congratulate the government on the most recent one. I understand the PAC got one also, and that was a bit unique.

Mr Speaker, I would like, on behalf of the committee, to congratulate the government for being just the most magnificent bunch of people for taking seriously how we administer legislation in this territory. I might put a little pepper on the old pecker and tell the people up in the departments, "Make sure you provide the right support to your ministers or you shall have us to deal with."

Construction Practitioners Legislation Amendment Bill 2003

Mr Corbell , by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory statement.

Title read by Clerk.


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