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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2620..

MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

happy to support in this legislation in principal. As I have indicated, I do have concerns about the Ombudsman Act.

MS DUNDAS (11.33): The ACT Democrats will also be supporting the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2004. It is another bill in a series of bills that continuously address minor problems in ACT law issues. However, some of the issues in this bill are more substantial than those usually presented by way of a statute law amendment bill. We are trying to ensure that laws of the ACT are kept up to date and relevant.

A number of areas are covered by the Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill and we also have in front of us a raft of amendments from the Attorney-General, which we will address in the detail stage. The Democrats also agree with the concerns that have been raised by the opposition in relation to the powers of the ombudsman and their ability to investigate tribunals. We see no reason for this power to be taken away and strong arguments have not been put forward to support this change. We foreshadow that when we get to the detail stage we will be supporting any opposition amendments.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, and Minister for Arts and Heritage) (11.35): On behalf of Mr Stanhope, I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 2747]. I table a supplementary explanatory statement to the amendments.

MR STEFANIAK (11.35): Mr Speaker, I trust that the supplementary explanatory statement-I have just had a quick look at it-relates to the necessary amendments the government has to move to ensure that we do not have utter chaos in relation to buying and selling in the property market, with the new laws coming into effect on 1 July.

Might I say I find it somewhat ironic that during debate yesterday concerns were expressed about amendments. There was a very strong push by someone for all amendments to go to the Scrutiny of Bills Committee. We dealt with a couple of amendments yesterday yet here we have 16 pages of amendments. So let us not get too precious about amendments.

Ms Gallagher: There is a difference and you know it.

MR STEFANIAK: Well, not really. Having said that, I might point out that I have not had sufficient time to go through the amendments as much as I would like to have done.

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