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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 August 2005 2005) . . Page.. 3016 ..


administrative accountability of the new human rights commission, consistent with the requirements placed on all other government agencies.

I commend these two bills to the Assembly and thank members for their participation in the debate.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 5, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 6.

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (11.17): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 3105]. I seek leave to table an explanatory statement to all my amendments.

Leave granted.

DR FOSKEY: The first amendment that we would like to make relates to clause 6, the objects of the act. Our amendment would insert after “This act has the following main objects”:

(aa) to promote the human rights and welfare of people living in the ACT by—

promoting the provision of community education, information and advice in relation to human rights; and

identifying and examining issues that affect the human rights and welfare of vulnerable groups in the community; and

making recommendations to government and non-government agencies on legislation, policies, practices and services that affect vulnerable groups in the community;

The current objects of the act contained in clause 6 of the bill are largely focused on the rights of individuals within service systems. Objects (a) to (e) all relate specifically to people using services, followed by object (f), which relates to fostering community education and discussion in relation to the act and to the commission. We believe that this narrows the role of the commission more than necessary. On service delivery systems and complaints handling, our amendment articulates that the role of the commission extends to the consideration of broader issues affecting specific groups in the community.

Furthermore, our amendment gives weight and recognition to functions of the commission that may be more proactive in nature. For example, a commissioner may identify that problems with services are a reflection of community attitudes and may undertake to provide advice to government and non-government agencies with regard to


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