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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3328..


Royal Commissions Amendment Bill 2003

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

Title read by acting clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (10.40): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Royal Commissions Amendment Bill 2003. This bill proposes to amend the Royal Commissions Act 1991, which provides a mechanism for establishing a royal commission to conduct an inquiry and report to the Chief Minister. Because of the shortcomings identified in the Inquiries Act of 1991 also exist in the Royal Commissions Act the amendments proposed by this bill are supported for the reasons as provided for the Inquiries Act.

These amendments are important in making the inquiry process under the act fairer and providing certainty in relation to protection for fair and accurate comments made in relation to a royal commission report, and provide protection for a person publishing and reporting fairly on the royal commission's report. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Amendment Bill 2003

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

Title read by acting clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (10.42): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill amends the Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 1983 in line with commitments made by the government in response to a review conducted by Dr Anthony Dare under section 72 of the act. The report Assistance for victims of crime in the ACT, a review of the operations of Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 1983 and the victims services scheme was tabled on 7 March 2003. The government response to the report was tabled in the Assembly on 17 June 2003. Members will recall the act deals with the provision of financial assistance by the territory to victims of violent crimes and other affected persons. Dr Dare's findings in the review were of great assistance to the government in highlighting what was working with the act and what was not. Overall, he found the financial assistance scheme to be operating efficiently and affordably with crime victims receiving financial assistance in a timely manner.


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