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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (15 August) . . Page.. 2151..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

That will provide a legal framework for the establishment of a child death review committee, the collection of data, the identification of trends and patterns, and the examination of policies and practices, and for the committee to report on any outcomes.

The control of firearms is a major public safety issue that needs both a national and a local approach. A Firearms Amendment Bill 2006 will address the illegal trade in firearms, increase penalties for firearms offences and require applicants for firearms licences to satisfy more stringent criteria before a firearms licence is issued. Separately, a new chapter 5 will be added to the Criminal Code, relating to offences against the person.

Road safety will also be improved with a bill to provide a nationally consistent and best practice legislative scheme to improve compliance and enforcement of the road transport laws for heavy vehicles. This will minimise adverse impacts on road infrastructure and on the community and will promote effective and efficient observance of road transport laws by all parties which have a role in the transport of goods or passengers by road. It is also intended to increase the level of penalties for the offence of failing to stop at the scene of an accident where a person has been injured or killed.

Mr Speaker, fire safety requires everyone's participation. Over the past 12 months, there has been a significant increase in the number of house fires in the ACT, with the fire brigade attending on average one house fire every three days. That is double the average of previous years. For this reason, the government will introduce the Smoke Alarm Legislation Amendment Bill 2006 that will require the installation of smoke alarms in all residential premises.

Another government initiative on housing will modernise the pre-self-government Housing Assistance Act 1987, making clearer the lines of decision making and authority, and introducing stronger information privacy protections for applicants and tenants.

Reform of the territory's planning and lease administration system is a high priority. This will be significantly progressed by the introduction of the Planning and Development Bill 2006. The government has already released an exposure draft for public consultation and will look to debate the bill in the last quarter of 2006. The bill includes the review and amalgamation of the Planning and Land Act 2002 and the Land (Planning and Environment) Bill 1991 and will address the matters identified in the government's announced final reform directions for the planning system reform project.

Proposed education legislation includes amendments to the University of Canberra Act 1994 that flow from a review report on the governance structures of the university. These will address the size and composition of the university council, make a minor change to its decision-making process, and address the election of the chair of the academic board.

New national agreements in higher education and joint ministerial decisions in vocational education and training also require technical amendments and other changes to the university approval processes of the Tertiary Accreditation and Registration Act 2003.

To overcome compliance difficulties with payment of the building and construction industry training levy, the government will change the definitions of "exempt work"and


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