Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (17 August) . . Page.. 2321..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
during my closing speech. I respect Dr Foskey's concern around the right to a fair trial. It is a right that should not be trammelled and, I submit, has not been trammelled by the amendments, which include a clarification of what is a confidential document by the incorporation within the Taxation Administration Act of a definition to protect the information.
I think it has to be said-I made this point earlier and I will just repeat it in response to this particular amendment-that section 97 of the act allows information to be disclosed to the commissioner for police for the purpose of investigating an offence against the law of the territory, the commonwealth, the state or another territory. It would cover all documents received and created by the ACT Revenue Office. In addition, all information so created by the revenue office or in its possession can be produced under section 97, amongst a range of others, for any purpose in accordance with the act, to the Ombudsman and to the Auditor-General. I indicated earlier the issues with respect to subpoenas, discovery and other avenues available to the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The government's position is that Dr Foskey's concerns are indeed addressed and met in the legislation. The amendment that she proposes is simply not necessary. Dr Foskey has made a suggestion that if the Assembly were not minded to support clauses 1A and 1B, it should agree at least to the capacity to make regulations and prescribe guidelines, but in the current wording of the amendment that Dr Foskey moves it is not possible to deal with the issues seriatim. The government's position at this stage is to oppose the amendment.
MRS DUNNE (Ginninderra) (12.13): The opposition will not be supporting Dr Foskey's amendment. Although there is some superficial merit in the arguments that she puts forward, the case has not been made that the law is deficient in the ways that she says.
I take the Chief Minister and Treasurer's advice in relation to how the Evidence Act applies in the ACT. There are a few elements that are not entirely clear to me in relation to inquiries or investigations that might be taken by other commonwealth agencies; for instance, the Child Support Agency. But I think that Dr Foskey's amendment does not sufficiently address that issue and if problems arise, that might be a matter that we can return to on another occasion.
Bill, as a whole, agreed to.
Bill agreed to.
Radiation Protection Bill 2006
Debate resumed from 30 March 2006, on motion by Ms Gallagher:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (12.14): Mr Speaker, the Radiation Protection Bill 2006 is a bill that could possibly shine. One could say that it is positively incandescent. The opposition will be supporting the bill. The bill is in fact part of the national process that