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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Friday, 1 July 2005 2005) . . Page.. 2652 ..


With this in mind, the bill also requires the chief executive of my department to review the standing orders and provide me with a report within three months of the commencement of these amendments. This clause is necessary as the standing orders will be redeveloped over this period on the basis of advice from the human rights commissioner in relation to compliance with the Human Rights Act 2004.

As I indicated in my presentation speech earlier this year, after discussions between the department and the human rights commissioner, the commissioner began a review of Quamby. The purpose of this audit was to gain her advice on what changes were necessary to enshrine the principles of human rights in the practices at Quamby. We will be guided by her advice in reviewing the standing orders during this three-month period. I thank the committee for noting that some words are missing from the explanatory statement. I will address that point in my formal response to the report. In areas of security and facility operational matters, the government considers that some of these matters should not be put into the public arena so as to cause risk to operations, personnel and others. That is why certain standing orders will be excluded from the provisions of the Legislation Act.

Proposed section 403B makes provisions as to persons to whom the chief executive must ensure copies of the standing orders are made available, including any exempt provisions. This is a reasonable safeguard as it is mandatory and, of course, does not preclude the chief executive from making the standing orders available to others. In order to ensure that the relevant statutory oversight officers and the judiciary have access to the full set of standing orders, including those relating to security provisions, the bill provides that the chief executive must always make all of the standing orders available for inspection by a judge or magistrate, community advocate, the human rights commissioner, an official visitor or the ombudsman.

Just to finish in relation to some of the questions Dr Foskey sought assurances on from me, I am happy to provide the Assembly with a report on the progress of Quamby and all the issues that are going on, including the work of the working party and an action plan relating to whatever comes out of the human rights audit once we receive that report by the end of this sitting year. I can give you that commitment today.

In closing, I thank members for their support and their preparedness to deal with this bill swiftly. I thank them particularly in respect of the fact that we have asked for such a significant piece of legislation to be dealt with in one week.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.


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