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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 5..

I contend MRS BURKE (continuing):

that there may have been some wastage of taxpayers' money, which concerns me. Paragraph 2.10 of the report states:

Notwithstanding the comments in 2.8 above-

that paragraph refers to some of the goods things that were brought forward-

the Standing Committee noted that much of the information in Volume 2 of the Report was superfluous to the requirements laid down in Directions 2004-2005.

I am sure the government and the department will take that on board. Overall, I think the report speaks for itself. I, too, commend the report to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Human Rights Commission Legislation Amendment Bill 2006

Mr Stanhope , by leave, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra-Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (10.47): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Human Rights Commission Legislation Amendment Bill 2006 has been prepared to provide more flexibility in the commencement of the Human Rights Commission Act 2005. Essentially, the bill is simply a procedural matter designed to change the commencement date of the act. As members will recall, the Human Rights Commission Act was passed by this Assembly in August 2005. The act was subsequently notified on the Legislation Register on 1 September 2005 and in accordance with the current commencement provision the act will commence automatically on 1 March 2006.

On commencement of the new act a new statutory body, the Human Rights Commission, will come into existence. The current statutory positions of the Discrimination and Human Rights Commissioner and Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner and the operations of their offices will be amalgamated into the new agency. The establishment of the Human Rights Commission is an important step for the ACT; so it is important that we get this right. A thorough, rigorous recruitment process is needed to ensure we employ the very best candidates in the new commission.

This amendment will ensure that the Human Rights Commission operates smoothly and provides the best possible services to the community from day one. It gives us the latitude to ensure that we go through a rigorous process of employment of commissioners and staff to ensure that the Human Rights Commission operates optimally when it is fully established.

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