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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4400..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

In light of the Law Society's objection-or comments, Mr Speaker-on the basis that these offences are not yet strict liability offences in other jurisdictions, and in the context of complying with the nationally agreed model, I have proposed that the strict liability nature of these offences be removed. However, it is proposed that, having regard to how the scheme is embraced by members of the respective professional bodies in each jurisdiction, the government should monitor compliance with the scheme and revisit the issue, if need be, with the support of the Law Society.

These amendments reflect that background. Comments have been made to the government by the Law Society such that the government is inclined to accept the position put by the Law Society. If issues do emerge as the scheme evolves, it may become necessary to reassess the success, or otherwise, of the scheme and to consider the appropriateness of strictly regulating these types of offences. I commend these amendments to the Assembly.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause 8, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 9.

MS DUNDAS (8.48): Even though clause 8 has now been put into law, I still want to put on the record that the Democrats are not happy about this and we continue to oppose clause 9.

Clause 9 agreed to.

Remainder of bill, by leave, taken as a whole and agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2004

Debate resumed from 14 May 2004, on motion by Mr Stanhope:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (8.49): Mr Speaker, the opposition will be supporting the Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2004. The bill is essentially the government's response to comments made by the Auditor-General in recent times about a number of issues that had been affecting the operations of the auditor in the conduct of audits within the ACT.

In our system of government it is important that there be appropriate accountability for the use of public resources, including funds, and that the organisations involved in the use of these resources do so as efficiently and effectively as possible. It should be implicit in such a system of government that there is a process of evaluation and assessment of the utilisation of the community's resources, in addition to ensuring that there is appropriate responsibility and accountability for the use of public funds.

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