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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2150..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

on hiring arrangements, leases and unquoted marketable securities, thereby completing the program for tax reform that was announced in the 2005-06 ACT budget.

The Duties Act and the Taxation Administration Act 1999 also will be amended to facilitate the introduction by the ACT Revenue Office of an online lodgment and payment service. The bill implements a 2005-06 ACT budget initiative to improve the services of the ACT Revenue Office by allowing for certain duty transactions to be processed and paid online and for the closure of the revenue office shopfront.

Under section 53, a review is required this year of the operation of the Government Procurement Act. When completed, a Government Procurement Amendment Bill 2006 will give effect to any government decisions to amend the act to ensure that the procurement framework applying to ACT government agencies continues to be effective, efficient and appropriate.

The government's law reform program is an ongoing priority. Work will continue to modernise and update ACT legislation by way of various statutory law amendments and portfolio legislation.

Amendments to the Legal Profession Act 2006 will effect the national legal profession model law. The government flagged that when the act was introduced in June of this year. As well as bringing the territory's act into line with the national model, it will be an opportunity to make a number of corrective amendments and some changes that reflect policy agreement with the legal profession that had not been finalised at the time the act was passed.

The application of the Commonwealth Evidence Act in ACT courts has, over time, also created a number of constitutional difficulties. Specifically, these have been in relation to the application of the ACT Supreme Court rules, general inconsistency of other subordinate laws, and misunderstanding about the legal relationship between commonwealth evidence law and ACT law. An ACT Evidence Bill 2006 will deliver certainty and maintain sovereignty of laws made by the ACT parliament.

Some changes are also to be made to the Courts Act following development of uniform court rules and the ACT Auditor-General's Office performance audit report on courts administration. The amendments will clarify governance arrangements in the courts, will clarify the role of court registrars and will provide statutory recognition of the role of the courts administrator.

To make territory exemptions for privacy under the Freedom of Information Act consistent with commonwealth provisions, amendments will be introduced in relation to terminology and consultation with affected third parties. Exemptions will also be provided for documents relating to security issues such as counter-terrorism activities.

Mr Speaker, the government is committed to social justice, human rights and caring for disadvantaged persons. To progress these, there is to be new legislation for the recognition of carers and to provide for enduring powers of attorney.

A Human Rights Commission (Child Death Review) Bill 2006 will also establish a child death review function as part of the responsibilities of the Human Rights Commission.


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